ArmInfo. If Armenia manages to offer more qualitative road infrastructure on more beneficial conditions Iranian businessmen will use this opportunity for entering Central Europe and Black Sea, Armenian Transport Minister Gagik Beglaryan told journalists today after the government session.
"We will do everything possible to be a leader by regional projects", the Minister stated. According to him by the Armenian President's decree a prompt political decision was made on construction of Agarak-Sisian asphalt automobile road instead of concrete one aimed at the rapid construction of that part of the road. "This section is the most difficult, it will allow to cut the road by 70 km and the time by 2.5 hours. It is planned to finish construction within maximum three years", Beglaryan stated. In this case the minister clarified it will be managed to achieve maximum activity on this direction, as Armenia can offer opportunity of railway connection unlike other countries. The Minister emphasized that modernization of the road from Sisian to Yeraskh will create the opportunity of using railway. The station in Yeraskh will be equipped with large terminals, in which Iranian businessmen are already interested. Beglaryan noted that delivery of goods to Yeraskh and further by railway station to Georgian Black Sea will be cheaper by 500 USD for 1 ton of cargo compared to the route offered by Azerbaijan.
To note, construction of Agarak-Sisian road is part of the North-South road corridor. North-South 556km motorway will be laid via the Armenian towns of Meghri-Kapan-Goris-Yerevan- Ashtarak-Gyumri-Bavra and enter the territory of Georgia on Akhaltsikhe-Batumi section, which will settle some transport problems of Armenia. This will be a four-lane motorway of reinforced concrete extending from the Armenian border and Iran to the Georgian port Batumi. The road corridor will facilitate improving the road connection with the two neighbors of Armenia: Iran and Georgia, providing access to international trade routes and markets. Armenia raised $500mln loan from the Asian Development Bank for the project that is estimated at $1 billion. Eurasian Development Bank is ready to provide $150 million. Armenia raised $60 million from the European investment Bank. Due to the project, the overland communication Europe-Caucasus-Asia will be improved. The project will be completed by 2019. It will allow Armenia to soften the consequences of the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey and to join the Black Sea ring highway.