For the first time, Pakistan Customs has processed a consignment of export of fresh mangoes (White Chaunsa) from Pakistan to Russia under the Convention on Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR), or International Road Transports. According to a press statement issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday, the exporter of the said consignment is M/s Ishfaq and Co, Okara. The FBR stated that this is one of the first endeavours to introduce Pakistani fresh fruits and indigenous goods to Russia. It will help the Pakistani traders to capture markets not only in Russia but also to Europe by land route, said the statement. According to the statement, the consignment has left Pakistan at Taftan/Mirjawa (Iran) border and is destined for Moscow (Russia) via Tehran-Astara (Azerbaijan)-Astrakhan (Russia) route. The road distance from Taftan to Moscow via Astara is 4,600 kilometres and it will be covered in about seven days. The instant TIR transportation will open this route for kinnow exports as it will take about 10 days to reach Moscow via Tehran-Astara-Astra Khan route while sea voyage on Karachi-St Petersburg route takes about 35 days and this shortening of distance will increase Kinnow and other exports to Russian Federation and EU, said the statement. Earlier on Saturday last, Pakistani Ambassador to Azerbaijan Bilal Hayee said, “We hope that soon Pakistani mangoes will be available in the Azerbaijani market.” Hayee made the remark at the Pakistani Mango Festival in Baku. “Mango has become a piece of Pakistani culture and folklore. Our country is a leader among the exporting countries of mangoes,” he said. “Over 100 varieties of mango are grown in Pakistan, and some of them are on display at the festival. We hope that in future, Pakistani businessmen with a wide range of these products will enter the Azerbaijani market,” the ambassador added.