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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Sees New Port

MOSCOW () -- Russian and Iranian officials began talks this week aimed at drawing up a contract and investment plan for a major port development in Russia's Astrakhan region by the Caspian Sea, Interfax reported.

Vadim Antipov, a senior Russian Transport Ministry official, said Wednesday the development plans for Olya village on the Volga river delta included construction of 23 jetties, a 57-kilometer rail spur and 72-kilometer approach road.

The total cost of the port complex and infrastructure is estimated at $1.5 billion, and the first stage of the port, expected to handle 2 million metric tons of freight annually, will be commissioned by 2000, Antipov said.

Eventually the port is to handle 10 million tons of freight annually.

Russia will have a 51 percent stake in the future joint venture, and regular ferry traffic between Olya and the Iranian port of Enzeli will open in August.