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EghtesadOnline: US-sanctioned Iran is interested in doing business with Russia’s Crimea, according to authorities from the Russian region that is also facing sanctions from Washington and Brussels.

The trade route would connect Crimea’s ports with Iran’s Caspian coast via the Volga-Don Canal, Georgy Muradov, Crimea’s permanent representative under the Russian president, told Izvestia.

Crimea has no sea border with Iran, but is linked to the Caspian through the rivers Volga and Don that flow into Azov Sea.

“Trade will be made possible by the launch of rail traffic. The planned rail route is Crimea–North Caucasus–Azerbaijan–Iran,” Financial Tribune quoted Muradov as saying.

The connection between Crimea and Iran could be part of a much larger project. Moscow and Tehran have long been interested in developing the International North-South Transport Corridor. Part of it will go along the western coast of the Caspian Sea from Russia to Iran through Azerbaijan.

INSTC, when built, is expected to significantly reduce the time for cargo transportation from India to Central Asia and Russia.

At present, it takes about 40 days to ship goods from Mumbai in India to Moscow. The new route will be able to cut this time to 14 days. The price will also be cheaper than shipping goods through the traditional Suez Canal.

Iran trade Crimea US sanctions Russian River System