India Explores Corridor to Kazakhstan, East Russia via Iran
India, notwithstanding impending sanctions on Iran, intends to put in place a corridor linking Gujarat and West Bengal to Kazakhstan and Eastern Russia via Iran's Bandar Abbas Port.
Plans are afoot to link Gujarat's Mundra Port with Bandar Abbas and connect it to Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railroad network and onwards to Eastern Russia. The idea is to not only access markets of this landlocked region but also create a corridor to import natural resources from the region, The Economic Times reported.
Officials from India and Kazakhstan are meeting in Delhi next week to fine-tune the proposal for the corridor that will run parallel to the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Chabahar corridor both through Iran.
While Gujarat is geographically closer to Bandar Abbas, the goal of the proposed corridor is to connect Eastern India with Eurasia in the backdrop of India’s Indo-Pacific construct from the western part of Indian Ocean to the Pacific.
The proposal for the new corridor comes on the heels of Moscow launching talks with Delhi for the creation of a corridor connecting Russia-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman-India.
The resource-rich and growing economies of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are seeking access to international waterways and the nearest gateway to ocean is via Iran.
Sources said that the two big Central Asian republics, mindful of sanctions on Iran, are seeking to engage with Tehran in line with their national interests.