One of Eurasia’s largest connectivity projects is taking off. The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a major transit route designed to facilitate the carriage of goods from Mumbai in India to Helsinki in Finland, using Iranian ports and railroads, which Tehran plans to connect to those of Azerbaijan and Russia and its Baltic ports. Those links could give Russia rail connectivity to both the Persian Gulf and the Indian rail network. Russia, Iran and India founded and laid the groundwork for the project between 2000 and 2002. Subsequently, other countries joined the project. They included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Bulgaria. With countries in the Caucuses, South Europe, West Asia and Central Asia joining the INSTC, it is envisaged as one of Eurasia’s most important connectivity ventures. The INSTC is not and cannot be a counterpoise to China’s Belt and Road Imitative (BRI). Apart from India, all the countries involved in the INSTC are on the BRI. They also have far stronger trading ties with China than with India. Indeed, the INSTC was conceived long before Xi Jinping had arrived on the world scene as China’...