Leaders of the railway systems of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran were meeting here today at the headquarters of Russian Railroads (RZhD). The press service of RZhD said the subject is a projected rail line between Kazvin, Resht and Astara in Iran. The Russian side in the talks is headed by Gennady Fadeyev, RZhD president; the Iranians are led by Saidnezhad Mohammad, who is deputy minister of roads and transport and general director of Railroads of the Islamic Republic, and the Azerbaiji delegation is led by Arif Askerov, who heads Azerbaijan's state railways. Also participating were the Iranian ambassador to Russia, Golamreza Shafei, and Azerbaijani envoy Raliz Rizayev.
As explained by the press service, the new Kazvin-Resht-Astara rail link would benefit Russia both in terms of overall trade with Iran and in terms of jobs during the construction phase and thereafter. Aside from encouraging growth of rail traffic between Europe and Asia, the office said the link would strengthen Russia's influence among the countries of the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean regions.