Pavlov, the First Deputy General Manager of Russian Railways, said, “The first export block train completing its journey through Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) will contribute to the growth of trade between our countries.”
Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy General Manager of Russian Railways, made evaluations to the AA correspondent regarding the railway trade between the two countries after the first export block train between Turkey and Russia arrived on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) route on February 9 to the Kaluga region near Moscow.
Emphasizing that the mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Turkey has a good history, stable and positive indicators, Pavlov said, “With the participation of Russian railways, the transportation of foreign trade goods between Russia and Turkey increased by 10% in 2020 compared to 2019, exceeding 20 million tons.”
Reminding that a new railway route using the BTK line was launched in 2017, Pavlov said, “Then, in May 2019, the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the development of transportation along this line with the participation of Turkey and Russia also connected our countries with a direct railway connection.”
Stating that they are ready to take all necessary measures for the regular transportation of foreign trade goods by rail along the BTK route, Pavlov said, “According to our estimates, the time and price indicators of this route will be more advantageous than other modes of transport. If we do not count the loading and unloading times, the estimated shipping time will be 10 days, which will be twice as fast as sea transport.”
Pavlov pointed out that rail transport is not subject to the risks associated with weather conditions, “It is also epidemiologically safer. It allows cargo to be delivered with minimal personal contact. As you know, a single-driver train can replace about 80 trucks and drivers.”
“The railway sector is of strategic importance for Russia”
Stating that Russian Railways is one of the largest companies in the world in the field of cargo transportation, Sergey Pavlov emphasized that the railway sector has strategic importance for Russia.
Pavlov explained that in addition to transportation and logistics, they also operate in important areas such as the construction and management of railway infrastructure, machinery and special equipment supply, R&D, and consultancy. Noting that these areas have the potential to cooperate with Turkey, Pavlov said, “We are currently working to increase the share of rail transport between Russia and Turkey in the transportation of foreign trade goods. Of course, the start of direct rail transport between our countries has made it easier.”
Emphasizing the importance of the first export block train between Turkey and Russia to deliver to Russia via BTK route, Pavlov said, “The first export block train between Turkey and Russia, which completed its flight over Baku-Tbilisi-Kars on February 9, was an important step towards increasing the railway trade and will contribute to the growth of trade between our countries.”
Pavlov stated that the possibility of expanding the range of transported goods is also important, adding that they anticipate an increase in rail transport in the transportation of Turkish consumer goods, as well as regular delivery of Turkish fruit and vegetable products to Russia in refrigerated containers.
Explaining that they are working with Russian transporters to send wood, paper products, and grain in containers, Pavlov said, “In addition to container transportation, Russian metal companies are also directly interested in rail transport in Turkey. In 2020, more than 45 thousand tons of sheet metal was transported from Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Factories via BTK line.”
“The direction to Turkey is very interesting”
Pavlov, First Deputy Director General of Russian Railways, stated that railway transportation is seen as an effective and safe alternative to road transport in epidemiological terms, especially in cross-border long-distance transport, “For example, during the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic, transportation started in the China-France connection, services associated with Scandinavian countries emerged, and a significant increase was observed in the direction of China-Belarus.”
Stating that they support sea lines significantly during the epidemic period, Pavlov said, “The direction of Turkey is also very interesting, and the development of transit traffic on Russian railways in connection with Turkey is extremely promising. In this respect, it is also a remarkable development, using both the BTK route and the development of transportation through Russia’s ports.”
Pavlov stated that the Silk Road route network is constantly developing and they would welcome it to be seen as one of Turkey’s transit points.
Opportunities born with the Covid-19 outbreak
Sergey Pavlov said that the Covid-19 outbreak is a tough test for the railway sector, but also opens up opportunities to strengthen old partnerships and develop new ones to enter a new development process.
Pointing to the “government policy to reduce carbon emissions”, “digitalization” and “introduction of innovative technologies” among the most important factors that will determine the future of railways in the Eurasian continent, Pavlov said, “The increase in the commodity market in the Euro-Asian area will remain as the most important driving force in the context of international trade.”
Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz