ArmInfo. Construction of North South road corridor via increasing Armenian foreign debt is not the best option, Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan stated at the press conference on January 13. According to him once started the project should be finished. At the same time he stressed that it should be done not at the expense of increasing foreign loans but based on the results of negotiations held between the government and the private sector. ''The Armenian government is holding discussions, various negotiations trying to find solutions based on state-private sector cooperation'', the Prime Minister noted.
According to the Armenian budget allocations to the Ministry of Transport, Communications and IT were cut by more than 10 bln drams in 2017. Deputy Minister of Finance Atom Janjughazyan stated at the Armenian parliament that considering cut of expenditures in the field certain amendments will be made in the schedule of North South road corridor construction. The North-South 556km highway 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. Corsan Corvian Spanish company has won the tenders for construction of the first sections of the road, Chinese Sinohydro Corporation has won the tender for construction of the Lanjik- Gyumri section in north of Armenia.