Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the proposed International North-South Transport Corridor (INST), connecting India to Russia via Iran, as a "truly ambitious project". INSTC aims to connect Caspian Sea region countries, including Kazakhstan.

Addressing the sixth Caspian Sea Summit on 29 June, Putin made special reference to the INSTC. He described the 7,200-kilometre-long, project as a “transport artery from St Petersburg to ports in Iran and India.