Russian fuel already finds its way to Iran via INSTC’s eastern branch
Following an energy supply deal of 40 billion US dollars last year, Russia has started the first fuel shipments to Iran via rail. It appears that already in February and March this year, 30,000 tonnes of Russian gasoline and oil have been transported to Iran through the eastern branch of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) crossing Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
A few days ago, a report from Reuters claimed, quoting anonymous sources, that a fuel supply chain between Russia and Iran has been up and running for two months already. The report was also based on Russian export data.
The anonymous sources quoted in the report have claimed that while fuel transport between the two partners is expected to grow this year, it is far from booming, mainly because of increased congestion.
INSTC eastern branch
The rail route connecting Russia and Iran via Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan is referred to as the eastern branch of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). This branch was officially launched, with the first train making the journey in July 2022. Since then, several test trains have been launched, mainly transporting fertilisers. Now, the route also serves fuel traffic, which is quite an interesting development considering that Russia does not hesitate to use all the alternative routes along the INSTC.