Domestic Economy

Russia Setting UP “Green Corridor”

Russia Setting UP “Green Corridor”
Russia Setting UP “Green Corridor”

The creation of "green corridor" between Russia and Iran for exporting Iranian agricultural products to the neighboring country is primarily aimed at substituting sanctioned Turkish products, Russian Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Levin has been quoted as saying by Sputnik News Agency.

"After the adoption by the government of Russia of sanctions on the import of agricultural products from the Republic of Turkey, the country’s [Russia’s] Ministry of Agriculture is actively working on the replacement of these products, first of all, by goods from Iran. It is this, in the first place, that the order to create a ‘green corridor’ is linked to," Levin was quoted as saying by the press service of Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan.

The deputy minister said the corridor will become operational "at full strength" by the end of 2016.

Relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated following the downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft over Syria by a Turkish jet on November 24, 2015. In December, Russia introduced a set of economic measures against Turkey in response to the incident.

Russia’s trade turnover with Iran amounts to $700-800 million per annum.

> Joining the Dots From Caspian Sea to Dagestan

The idea of the "green corridor", aimed at transporting Iranian agro-food products to Russia mainly through  the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Dagestan, was first discussed by Russian Minister of Agriculture Alexander Nikolayevich Tkachyov during his visit to Iran in January.

“We need to establish modern logistics on the way of Iranian goods to Russia, create a ‘green corridor’ on the Russian border for Iranian goods and ease customs formalities to speed up the clearance of Iranian cargoes,” he said after meeting his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Hojjati, in Tehran.

“We have inspected Iranian dairy companies. They will start exporting their products to Russia in the nearest future.”

The Iranian minister said there is potential for the two neighboring countries to become active trade partners, “however the infrastructure needed for commercial interactions, including air and sea transport, is currently not satisfactory”.

“The products of 19 seafood companies, four Iranian milk processing factories and two poultry producers have successfully passed veterinary tests in the Russian Federation and received the requisite licenses. Also, a Russian livestock producer has been given the go-ahead to export its products to Iran,” he said.

Earlier, Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance announced issuing permission for the export of milk and dairy products by the Iranian firms Fars Pegah Pasteurized Milk, Golpayegan Pegah Dairy, Kalleh Dairy Company and Tehran Pegah Pasteurized Milk Company.

These companies produce a wide range of dairy products, including milk, cream, yogurt and different types of cheese.

Iran exported its first shipment of 12 tons of different types of hard cheese to Russia early in March and another similar shipment was due to be exported by the end of April.

Iran annually earns about $700 million from dairy export. Should Iranian milk become popular in Russia, this figure may exceed $1 billion.

> High Market Potentials

On Sunday, Iran’s Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said a $4 billion market is up for grabs in Russia for Iranian food producers, especially exporters of nuts, protein products, fruit and vegetables.

On Monday, a Russian trade delegation visited Khuzestan Province to survey the prospects of importing agricultural products from the southern Iranian province.

"Khuzestan is ready to meet Russia's demand for agricultural products with competitive quality and prices compared to Turkish products," said Masoud Asadi, the head of Khuzestan Farm House, in an address to the visiting Russian delegation.

Moreover, in a three-day conference on promotion of trade relations between Iran and Russia held in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan on April 21-23, the two countries’ food industry players discussed opportunities for cooperation in the fields of dairy products, chocolate, confectionary and oilseeds among others.

Iran is planning to hold two food exhibitions in Russia in May. One will be held in Moscow and another in Kazan, the capital of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan.