Kazakhstan wants to handle greater volumes of cargo moving between Russia and Iran through an increasingly important trade corridor, a senior Kazakh official said on Monday.

Iran PressAsia: Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin said that his country had handled 80,000 tons of cargo through an eastern route of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) between Russia and Iran in the first nine months of this year.

Iran has seen a major increase in traffic via the INSTC as Russia has been shipping large volumes of goods to Asian countries via Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf since February when Moscow came under sanctions by the US and its allies because of the war in Ukraine.

Tehran and Moscow have sought to deepen their bilateral ties in recent months as they continue to coordinate their efforts to counter foreign sanctions. 

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Zhumangarin stated that the figure was an eightfold increase compared to the same period last year.

He announced the figures in a meeting with Russian officials in Almaty. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayevand Russian President Vladimir Putin also attended the meeting via video link.

Zhumangarin said reducing red tape and improving infrastructure could streamline cargo flows.

Tokayev met Putin in Moscow on Monday in his first foreign trip since he secured a second term in a snap election on Nov. 20.

He said shipments from Russia to Iran can either travel via the Caspian Sea or move by railway to the east of it through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.


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