Russia, Iran cooperating to save endangered Caspian Sea species

Russia and Iran are making joint efforts to protect imperiled species of the Caspian Sea, a Russian lawmaker said Wednesday.
“Russia and Iran will undertake concerted measures to promote biodiversity in the Caspian Sea under bilateral agreements,” Nikolay Vasilev, the deputy chairman of the Agriculture Committee in Russia’s State Duma told an Iranian parliamentary delegation in Moscow.
Vasilev added that the two nations had already taken concrete steps in safeguarding the invaluable species inhabiting the body of water, IRNA reported.
He urged the respective parliaments of Russia and Iran to monitor these endeavors closely, with the aim of expediting progress in this area.
Last month, Iran initiated a groundbreaking project focused on the artificial reproduction of the economically valuable Caspian barbel fish, commonly known as Yellowfin.
The plan was aimed at acquiring essential biotechniques to ensure successful propagation of the endangered species, which faces environmental challenges and the looming threat of extinction.
Iran, a potential grain transit hub
Speaking at the same meeting, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee in Russia’s State Duma Vladimir Kashin said Iran would become a grain transit hub once a major route that links Russian ports, situated along the Baltic Sea and Iranian ports, located in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf, is completed.
Kashin said the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) would play a key role in turning Iran into a grain transit hub.
The INSTC, a comprehensive transportation network encompassing maritime, rail, and road routes, spans a vast distance of approximately 7,200 kilometers, connecting Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and India.
The final segment of the INSTC is the Rasht-Astara railway that runs along the Caspian Sea coast. In May, Iran and Russia signed a $1.6-billion deal to build the railroad in order to complete the INSTC, which Russia believes holds the potential to rival the Suez Canal as a prominent global trade route.


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