Iran seeks to establish a ferry service with Russia in the Caspian Sea

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DERBENT, Russia – Iran plans to organize the ferry service with Russia in the Caspian Sea, said the interim chief of the Dagestan Republic, Vladimir Vasilyev.

“[Iran] is ready to establish maritime communication with us, we support him,” Vasíliev said.

The official said that the idea is to open a route to Derbent, on the coast of Dagestan, and was convinced that “everything will work.”

On June 28, Iran’s ambassador to Russia, Mehdi Sanaei, arrived in Derbent to address, among other issues, the development of bilateral relations, the growth of the flow of goods transported through the port of Majachkala, the capital of Dagestan, and the establishment of a line of communication between this republic and Iran.

Russia and Iran, together with three other nations of the Caspian (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) signed in August 2018 a convention establishing the navigation regime in this sea, the regulation of the collective use of water, the mechanisms of delimitation of seabed and subsoil, the conditions of laying cables and pipes, as well as other aspects related to cooperation in the basin.

Meanwhile, Iran is against the construction of a gas pipeline at the bottom of the Caspian Sea, said Behrouz Namdari, spokesman for the Iranian National Gas Company.

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“The construction of the gas pipeline from the east to the west of the Caspian Sea can seriously affect the region’s environment… Iran is against that construction,” Namdari said at the Caspian Economic Forum.

The proposed gas pipeline has the objective to transport Turkmen natural gas to Turkey, Georgia and EU countries.

The project foresees that the route for transporting gas passes through the bottom of the Caspian Sea to the coast of Azerbaijan.

Russia and Iran, current transit countries for Turkmen gas, repeatedly criticized the project because of the potential damage to the environment it can cause.

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