While western nations restrict purchases and impose sanctions, calling for Russia to stop its war on Ukraine, publishers in India have another focus: A trainload of Russian newsprint.
With bated breath, the progress of 32 80-foot (24 metre) flatcars is being monitored, transporting 53 40-foot containers of newsprint from Nigozero through the international north-south transport corridor’s (INSTC) eastern route via Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and then from Iran to Chennai.
Indian Printer & Publisher’s Naresh Khanna reports that efforts are being made to make the corridor “an affordable and effective alternative” for domestic shippers.
Figures quoted show that while India imported 1.5 million tons of newsprint in 2018-19, this had fallen to one million tons in 2020-21, two-thirds of the country’s reduced total consumption of 1.5 million tons.
The current consignment is the second from Russia to India via the corridor.
The publication quotes a Russian Railways source that negotiations are underway project to increase shipments on the eastern route.