Belarus has become a full member of the 'North-South' international transport corridor agreement. A spokesperson for the Belarussian Ministry of Transportation and Communications told Rosbalt that the decision was made by the member governments who participate in the agreement (Russia, India and Iran) at a session of the organization's coordination council on April 29-30.
Belarus says that the agreement 'provides for the increased effectiveness of transport connections and provides access to international markets by means of all types of surface and air transport of member governments. Moreover, the agreement provides for the security of transportation, maintenance of trade goods and creation of equal conditions for all member governments, providing their transport services as part of the agreement.
With the addition of Belarus, the 'North-South' transportation corridor connects a transportation network from the Indian ocean, to Iran and further on through Astrakhan following through Russia in the direction of Moscow and St. Petersburg. On the territory of Belarus, the primary direction of the international transportation corridor 'North-South' runs from the Belarussian border with Lithuania through Minsk and Orsha on to the Belarussian border with Russia over to Moscow, and the border with Poland to Minsk and Orsha on to the border with Russia and over to Moscow.
According to the Belarussian Ministry of Transportation Press Secretary Ella Kurilo, one of the most important advantages that Belarussian carriers will enjoy is 'a real reduction in the amount of time and material spent on moving loads and passengers along territories of member governments, simplification and unification of necessary administrative and customs procedures in relation to international transit of all member government territories.'
Moreover, according to Kurilo, the joining of Belarus to the 'North-South' transport corridor offers 'favorable conditions for realizing transit loads in the Southern direction and an increase of foreign currency in the government budget.'
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba believes that "Crimea has already become a" suitcase without a handle” for Russia