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Russia, Iran discuss obstacles to $1.6bn railway to Azerbaijan

The agreement in principle to build the line was reached after a virtual meeting between between presidents Putin and Raisi on 17 May last year (President of Russia)
Officials from Iran and Russia have been discussing ways to expedite a project to build a railway between the Iranian city of Rasht and the town of Astara in Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea.

According to Iranian news agency IRNA, Mehdi Safari, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, met with Russian officials in Moscow to discuss ways of resolving obstacles to building the 162km line.

He met Dmitry Zverev, the deputy minister of transport, and presidential aide Igor Levitin, while in the Russian capital for a BRICS Summit.

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi agreed to work together on the line last May.

The railway would connect the Iranian rail system with Azerbaijan.

It would allow rail freight to go from the Persian Gulf to Saint Petersburg and the European rail network.

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