Kazakhstan has found an alternative route for shipping goods to Europe, Fergana writes, citing Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Transport, Satzhan Ablaliyev. 

He was quoted as saying that Kazakhstan’s authorities had held negotiations with Turkmenistan and Iran to discuss issues related “to ensuring free transit when using the Southern route by domestic carriers for delivery of goods to Europe.”  

This measure is forced, since today eight of thirteen border crossing points (BCPs) along Belarus border with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have been shut down and the remaining five BCPs now operate at only 40 percent of their standard capacities, Kazakh official said.

“All eight checkpoints along Russia’s common border with Finland have also been closed,” Ablaliyev added.  

He further noted that payment for cargo transportation on the new route increases and cargo delivery time also increases on this route.  

Recall, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have agreed to jointly develop the China–Kazakhstan–Turkmenistan–Iran corridor.  The agreement was reached during the first meeting of the Kazakh-Turkmen joint working group on the development of transport, transit, and logistics, held in Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, on November 26-27.  The parties discussed issues of cooperation in the field of transport, transit, and logistics.

A protocol and a memorandum on transport interconnection were signed between the Ministry of Transport of Kazakhstan and the Agency for Transport and Communications under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan.  The memorandum provides for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the field of rail and sea transport.  It outlines intentions to increase traffic volumes across the territories of the two countries, including the creation of favorable tariff conditions, the adoption of joint measures to harmonize infrastructure development, and the introduction of digital solutions for mutual information exchange.  The railway line Uzen (Kazakhstan) – Gyzylgaya – Bereket – Etrek (Turkmenistan) – Gorgan (Iran) is an important link in the transport and logistics schemes of Eurasia, which facilitates cargo transit to the Middle East.