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Eastern Express 9.06

The Russian invasion of Ukraine had many consequences including sanctions, energy sector changes the shift of influence in the region, and more. However, the war is now affecting the political and economical landscape in the Caucasus.

Cargo movement between Europe and Asia via the Caucasus is increasing dramatically as multinational shippers seek to avoid Russia and rush to establish new transit routes. According to the latest estimates, cargo shipment between Central Asia and the Caucasus will increase sixfold in 2022 compared to the previous year, to 3.2 million metric tons.
Russian Railways, which had played a key role in cargo transportation between China and Europe, has been sanctioned by the United States and Europe.

As a result, several foreign shippers have launched new projects in recent months, such as a Danish shipping company overhauling rail service along the Central Asia-Caucasus route or a Finnish firm operating a container train via the trans-Caspian route. As demand shifts to the Middle Corridor, there are concerns in the Caucasus that regional infrastructure will be ill-equipped to handle the expected transit boom.

Russian exodus

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russians from the middle class have fled abroad, facing a gloomy future in their increasingly isolated nation. Many people claim they left everything behind and fled the nation because they were afraid of the war’s economic and political consequences, as well as the risk of being deployed to fight in Ukraine.

New trade routs

For decades, regional governments have worked with the European Union, Turkey, and China to establish transportation corridors across the area. With the growth of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the endeavor has gained traction. The route is more expensive and slower than the Russian route since it has more border crossings and requires multimodal transfers to cross the sea.

Eastern Express’ guest

To shed more light on the issue is Konrad Zasztowt from the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw.

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