Creation of new transport corridors linking Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia begins
Decisions on the new transport corridors that will link Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia were adopted at the first meeting of the trilateral working group in Moscow on January 30.
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The vice-premiers of the three countries agreed to create several expert subgroups, in particular:
- For rail and road transport
- To ensure their safety
- Organization of customs, sanitary and veterinary control during transportation
The subgroups should be created by February 2 and have their first discussions by February 5.
What transport lines are being discussed
New rail and road routes in the South Caucasus will open several transport dead ends, in particular:
Connect the Azerbaijani Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan with the rest of the country, for which a road will be built through the territory of Armenia. Currently, travel to the area is possible only by air, or through the territory of Iran.
From Armenia to Russia there will be road and rail routes through the territory of Azerbaijan. Currently, Armenia’s only and critical land route to Russia passes through Georgia, and this road is congested and often closed due to weather conditions.
For the first time Russia and Turkey will have the possibility of overland communication through the territories of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Trilateral decision to open transit routes through the South Caucasus
On January 11, 2021, at a meeting in Moscow between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia and the prime minister of Armenia, it was decided to create a special working group.
The commitments of this group include the implementation of the ninth paragraph of another trilateral agreement of the heads of the three countries – dated November 10, 2020.
That agreement put an end to the second Karabakh war, which lasted from September 27 to November 10, 2020 and, according to various estimates, claimed the lives of 5-10,000 people on both sides.
Further steps to open transport corridors
The next meeting of the trilateral working group will be held in Moscow. The exact date of the meeting will be agreed by the co-chairs, according to the press service of the Russian government.
Iran has expressed interest in connecting to new transport corridors in the Caucasus. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif toured Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey in the last days of January 2021. During the trip, he met with the leaders of all three countries, and also with the speaker of the parliament of Nakhichevan.