Alexander Karavaev: "Anti-Russian sanctions let to surge of interest in North-South project"
Economist, author of the report "North-South Transport Corridor : Realities of Transit and Prospects for Trans-Regional Integration", Alexander Karavayev, told Vestnik Kavkaza about reasons for growing interest in the North-South project among companies.
- In your opinion, what caused such a surge of interest in the North-South transport corridor?
- You may say that many conditions led to this moment. First of all, we're talking about Russia's interest in new markets in the south and southeast of the continent, with simultaneous desire to continue new trade and economic line of cooperation. Strictly speaking, the international transport corridor is a trade and economic line of cooperation tied to road infrastructure. When this interest awoke at the turn of the 2000s and 2010s, Russian Railways and Transport Ministry Ministry's project with participation of Iran and India was updated.
- Then why does this project take so much time?
There were problems related to blocking of dollar payments for Iran, right during biggest sanctions against Iran, but even so, countries began to develop ideas on how to complete necessary communications. By 2015, it became obvious that Russia should find an alternative to the group of countries that impose anti-Russian sanctions at the global level, and then this project was presented to the president. It's clear that two of the five countries of the North-South project are under sanctions, and yet everyone understands obviousness of the fact that by making necessary efforts — investment, administrative, tariff — we will get great results. Any infrastructure that is created by the country begins to operate not in 5-10 years, but in about 30.
- In other words, results of the North-South will be noticeable only after decades?
- When the highway will be completed, connecting all sections, and when logistics centers will be built - perhaps by 2030 - we will get a fairly full-fledged project that will be supported by all participants without depending on political preferences. Creation of transportation routes for goods (railway and highway channels for delivery of goods), will continue for decades to come.
- Is this project equally beneficial for all participants?
- It's benefits depend on how developed these countries are. Moreover, it should be noted that even certain regions that are not involved in economic activities of this route will sooner or later benefit from its existence. If we're talking about countries as a whole, then, of course, all countries will receive revenues from the North-South project.