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Iran, Russia to Boost Port Cooperation in Caspian Sea

(FNA)- Iran and Russia are holding meetings to further increase maritime cooperation in the Caspian Sea with new agreements to be reached between the Iranian port of Anzali and the Russian port of Astrakhan, provincial head of Ports and Maritime Organization in the Northern province of Gilan Hamid Reza Abayee said on Saturday.

In an interview today, Abayee recounted the details of his recent trip to Russia and his meeting with his Russian counterpart from the Astrakhan port, saying that good measures took place in line with promoting the level of cooperation between the two ports.

“During the trip, cooperation between Anzali and Astrakhan ports were discussed, including the dispatch of vessels to the ports of the two sides. It was decided that the Russian side would follow up and resolve the issues facing vessels sailing with Iranian flags through Russian waters,” he added.

Another topic that was followed up during the discussions was organizing training courses between the two sides, Abayee noted.

The Russian side welcomed expansion of coordination and development of activities between Astrakhan, Anzali and Astara ports, he added.

In mid-August, Managing Director of Russia’s Astrakhan Special Economic Zone Miloshkin Sergei said that Iran’s Southeastern port of Chabahr is very important for Russia, and President Vladimir Putin believes that the port can ease transportation of goods to the Gulf of Oman, other countries and the Indian subcontinent.

The strategic role of the port of Chabahar in connecting the ports located by the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Oman has convinced Russian officials specially President Putin to use it as a route to transit goods to other countries and the Indian subcontinent in particular, Sergei said while inspecting the strategic port which is located in the Southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan.

In June, Anzali Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in and Iran’s Southeastern FTZ in Chabahar joined Russia’s Astrakhan Special Economic Zone LOTUS in a tripartite agreement for a three-year period cooperation, in a bid to further bolster commercial ties among the three sides.

Iranian and Russian officials signed a tripartite agreement to broaden commercial cooperation between Iran’s Chabahar FTZ, a port on the Indian Ocean, Iran’s Anzali FTZ, a port at the Southern end of the Caspian Sea, and Russia’s Astrakhan Special Economic Zone LOTUS, on the Northern side of the world’s largest lake.

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