Representatives of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan have reached an agreement on the development of the western branch of the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC).
The agreement was signed during a ministerial meeting of Iran and five Central Asian countries + Russia and Azerbaijan (known as 6+2) in Tehran.
Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan agreed on completion of Rasht-Astara railway as a final step to finalizing INSTC transit project.
The eight participating countries also signed a statement on transit promotion in the end of the two-day event.
Iran began the construction project of the Rasht-Astara railway in northern country early in August.
Speaking to reporters, Astara Governor Enayat Rezaeipour said that some 10,000 billion rials is estimated to be needed for the completion of the project.
He also said that the project is predicted to be complete within a 36-month time span.
The map shows International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC).
During a meeting between Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Rostam Qasemi and his Russian counterpart Vitaly Savelyev in late April, the Russian minister had expressed hope that the Rasht-Astara rail project will be completed as part of the North-South Corridor through mutual cooperation of Iran and Russia.
Savelyev said that once the rail road projects, the Rasht-Astara in particular, are completed, North Europe will be linked to India which will have many benefits for the countries on the way, including Iran and Russia.
The eastern section of the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC) was officially launched in July as the first rail transit cargo from Russia to India arrived in Iran through Sarakhs border crossing.