TEHRAN: An Ukrainian delegation met with head of Iran’s PMO discussing expansion of cooperation in maritime, port and transit sectors. Mohammad Saeidnejad, Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development and Managing Director of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO), said at the joint meeting that Mumbai-Bandar Abbas-Ukraine route can prove a fast, inexpensive and short path for transit. “A committee, comprising state and private sectors of the two countries, must be formed to follow up maritime, port and transit projects of Iran and Ukraine,” he continued. He suggested evaluation of Mumbai-Bandar Abbas-Ukraine route requires pilot transfer of goods for time, costs and conditions to be assessed. He called for expansion of sisterhood deals between Iranian and Ukrainian ports saying “comprehensive negotiations can be held on supplying demands of the two sides as regards transfer of know-how, training and investment.” Referring to strategic location of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, Saeidnejad said, in Iran, both private and state sectors take part in development of ports. He further voiced readiness of Iranian investors to make presence in ports of Ukraine and the Black Sea though investment conditions need to be defined by the European side.
The official also stressed that Iran would welcome foreign investors in Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and Caspian Sea since investments of the two sides leads to a rise in volume of transit in joint corridors. CEO of Iran’s PMO went on to say that Iran-Ukraine railroad will be completed within the Anzali-Astara railroad project and called for reinvigoration of ties within framework of the Joint Economic Commission of the two parties. Saeidnejad announced that a PMO delegation is slated to visit Ukraine in the coming month in a bid to hold serious talk on deepening bilateral ties. Later at the meeting, Viktor Yushchenko, Former President of Ukraine, stated that Ukraine was situated in Eastern Europe and was connected to Turkey and Georgia through the sea; “we are eager to promote cooperation with Iran in goods transport and transit arenas.” Ukraine enjoys an excellent geographical position in international corridors, noted the official stressing that his country was determined to transfer goods to Bandar Abbas. Recalling that Ukraine had jointed TRACECA international transport program in 2016, Yushchenko voiced his country’s readiness to launch collaboration with Iran for supply of rail needles, locomotives and train cars.