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    FIRST TRAIN FROM BERLIN WILL HEAD FOR TEHRAN VIA RUSSIA IN AUGUST 2004

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    MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - The first train "Berlin-Tehran" within the framework of the North-South transport corridor to pass through Russia will depart from Berlin in August 2004.

    The Russian Railways (RZhD) joint stock company press service said Friday that Gennady Fadeyev, the company's president, announced this while commenting on the results of his trip to Germany.

    "First there will be a demonstration run, and later, container transportation from the German capital to the Iranian capital via Russia will be carried out on a permanent basis," the Russian Railways statement said.

    The development of the corridor's Iranian section will be the topic of the RZhD president's visit to Iran on April 6-7. The visit agenda includes holding working meetings with the political and business elites of the Islamic Republic of Iran and with the management of the Iranian railways.

    Possible participation of the Russian Railways in the construction of a railway network on Iranian territory will be discussed at the talks.

    The RZhD management will sign in Tehran with Iranian colleagues a long-term Cooperation Agreement, which will substantially change the existing system of oil and oil product transportation in the Middle East.

    The RZhD press service recalled that the agreement about the visit was reached at the talks between Mr. Fadeyev and Gholamreza Shafei, the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran on March 12, 2004. - 0 - (kis/sm)

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