Armenia to complete construction of alternative to Lachin corridor in May 2023
Alternative to the Lachin corridor
By May 2023, Armenia will complete construction of an alternative road to the Lachin corridor. This was announced by the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, Gnel Sanosyan.
On August 25 the Lachin corridor, which now links Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, will come under the control of Azerbaijan. Residents of the nearest towns – Lachin, Aghavno (Zabukh) and Sus – have until that date to evacuate the area.
Until the completion of the construction of the alternative road, connection with NK will be by dirt road with a length of 4 km. By agreement of the parties, Russian peacekeepers will also be deployed along the new road.
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The Lachin corridor is the only road connecting Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh. According to a tripartite statement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in November 2020, the alternative road was to be built by the agreement of all sides, with a minimal starting date of three years. But two years later, Baku announced the completion of its part of the road.
Until recently, the Armenian authorities had not provided any information about the alternative road. Only in April did it become known which route the new road would take, according to the Minister of Territorial Administration of the unrecognized NKR, Hayk Khanumyan.
The alternative road will join NK through the towns of Tekh and Kornidzor in the Syunik region of Armenia. Armenia began designing this section at the end of July, and began construction at the beginning of August after the military escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In parallel with the escalation, Baku, through Russian peacekeepers, transmitted a demand to change the route between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, thus bypassing the Lachin corridor.
The length of the Tekh-Kornidzor section is 11.8km. The work is divided among three construction companies in order to complete the road as soon as possible.
“We intend to build this road, first of all, at high quality, so that it meets all standards and can be used by all types of vehicles. And it is important to be done as soon as possible,” the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia said.
Gnel Sanosyan said that the alternative road “will not be inferior to the Lachin corridor in any way”:
“By May, we will finish all the work and lay the asphalt. It be almost an entirely new road, with the exception of some sections which pass through the fields.
According to the minister, there will be no impassable sections on the new highway, but “there will be eight turns.”
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When asked how the issue of supplying gas and electricity to Nagorno-Karabakh would be resolved, Sanosyan replied that the Karabakh authorities were negotiating these issues.
“As for the Armenian section, the design stage is being completed and work will soon begin on the installation of poles and the construction of power lines in the Tekh-Kornidzor section,” he said.
After the transfer of the Lachin corridor to Azerbaijan, the entire infrastructure will also come under the control of Baku – gas, electricity, internet to Nagorno-Karabakh. The authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh say that this is temporary, and all issues will be resolved.
Work is already underway to provide the region with communications with the construction of high-voltage transmission lines. They are expected to be completed as soon as possible. How the issue of gas supply will be resolved has not yet been reported.
Alternative to the Lachin Corridor