Troubled by the trio of Turkey, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan, Armenia has proposed a new trade corridor from Mumbai Port to Russia via Iran. Through this corridor, India will be able to reach Europe from Iran’s Bandar Abbas port. India will be able to bypass Azerbaijan, which maintains relations with Pakistan and Turkey while viewing Armenia as an enemy, by using this new corridor.
Through this corridor, Iran will also be connected to Georgia by rail link via Armenia. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are connected to Georgia through rail and highway. Azerbaijan has built rail and road till Iran border. However, 165 km of rail is yet to be built in Iran. In January 2023, both Russia and Iran have agreed to build this rail line together. For this, Russia is handling the rest of the responsibility including funding.
India is getting goods on a large scale from Russia through Iran. This route passes through Azerbaijan. In such a situation, this corridor passing through Armenia will provide easy access to India from Iran’s Bandar Abbas port to Europe or Russia.
There is a dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. There is a situation of war and confrontation in both of them regarding this area. In such a situation, Azerbaijan gets support from Pakistan and Turkey, while Armenia is proposing this corridor for the purpose of seeking India’s help for its stability. This corridor can prove to be a game changer for the economy of Armenia.
Armenia has very close relations with Iran. The construction of a corridor through the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea matches with India’s plans. So India is also looking for an additional way to reach Europe which is different from the Suez Canal and the tension between Russia and Western countries should not affect this route.
India’s trade with Moscow has increased manifold after the start of Russia-Ukraine war in the changed global circumstances. India is trading with Russia through the International North South Transport Corridor which connects Russia through Iran and the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan is a part of it, but under someone’s provocation, it is completing its infrastructure at a very slow pace and with a lax attitude.
Azerbaijan is continuously attacking Armenia. To avoid this, he is buying weapons from India. Apart from defense and military relations, Armenia now wants to become economically strong with the help of India. For this reason, Armenia says that India should invest in building this new corridor in its area.