Russia and Iran, comrades-in-sanctions from the West, are connecting with each other . . . through a railway. And Azerbaijan intends to be the crucial middle link.
The Russian State Railroads Company earlier this week announced plans to build a railway link from Russia, across Azerbaijan, to Iran. An intergovernmental agreement on building the railway is expected to be signed in July next year and the Russian firm said it will foot the bill for the project.
Azerbaijan has its reasons to be suspicious of both countries, but, so far, has given no sign of skittishness about the deal.
Yet neither is it putting all its eggs in one basket. Also on the horizon is the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Turkey via Georgia which promises to carry five million tons of cargo and one million people each year. The kickoff is slotted for 2015.
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