Twenty years ago, the first President of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov launched the NOSTRAC project

In March 2000, the Government of Kalmykia Air Defence, headed by President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov together with the Moscow based Marina Line launched the NOSTRAC transport corridor project linking Europe with the Middle East and Asia. It was reported that NOSTRAC should become a kind of alternative to the TRACECA project.

To optimize freight traffic, the developers of the NOSTRAC proposed establishing a ferry service between the Russian coast of the Caspian Sea and the coasts of Turkmenistan and Iran. The project provided for the development of a new ferry service. It was supposed to operate from the border of Kalmykia and Dagestan in Russia. Further, it would have linked Türkmenbaşy, formerly known as Krasnovodsk in Turkmenistan, and Amirabad in Iran. The value of the project investments was estimated at $ 2.5-3 billion.


Especially for this project, the specialists of Vympel Design Bureau and Central Naval Scientific Research Institute developed a model of a ferry new vessel: a three-deck 298-meter ferry capable of transporting 120 railway cars of all kinds, 104 trunk auto trailers and about 500 passengers. 

It was assumed that the NOSTRAC international consortium run by representatives of eight interested states would work as a new transport corridor together with related infrastructure.
A significant reduction of cargo transit time was considered an advantage of the new corridor.