Monday, January 30 2017 17:43
Naira Badalian

Georgian President`s Adviser about prospect of Georgia`s Abkhazian Railway section opening 

Georgian President`s Adviser about prospect of Georgia`s Abkhazian Railway section opening 

ArmInfo. Georgia is the most interested in normal transport connections with the provinces and developing trade-economic, political relations with all the neighbors, said the President's Adviser of Georgia, Foreign Relations Secretary Tengiz Pkhaladze, while commenting in an interview to "Georgia Online" on the prospect of the Georgia's Abkhazian Railway section opening.  

"There is a stereotype, saying Georgia is against all railway connections which can pass through our territory, considering Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia, basically, is the most interested in normal transport connections with them and developing trade-economic, political relations with all neighbors. We have spoken about it repeatedly, and the isolation of fellow citizens and compatriots on the Russian- occupied territories is not in our interest. It is subject to everyone not considering the nationality:  Georgians, Abkhazians, Ossetians, Armenians, Greeks and etc. What is going on there is our pain, that is why the central authorities are especially interested in de-isolation and intensive relations", said Pkhaladze.

At the same time, as the President's Adviser noted, a question arises- If Georgia is so interested in developing its geopolitical function as a transit state and etc., why is it not happening? "Not Georgia but the Russian Federation does not want it. Russia's position prevents establishing all the projects, aiming to the given population's wealth, Russia refuses to recognize the territorial integrity of Georgia, Representative of the President of Georgia summarized.

Railway traffic between Georgia and Russia through Abkhazia was stopped after the conflict of 1992-1993.  Reopening of the Abkhazian railway is crucial for Armenia as this is the shortest and cheapest way to Russia. "I want to say that we are interested in this project", Abkhazian Prime Minister Arthur Mikvabia said in an interview to RIA Novosti. According to him the project is beneficial.  "However, Georgia is against it as it refuses to sign an agreement with us considering that we should be part of it. This means it is more a political issue than economic one. However I think it should be considered economically", he said.  As is known, in negotiations both with Russian and Georgian sides, the Armenian side has raised the issue of the possible Abkhazian Railway section opening not once, but these efforts brought to nothing.  Armenian Minister of Transport Vahan Martirosyan told reporters that various options (particularly, via South Ossetia and Abkhazia) are being considered as an alternative to the current Georgian Military Road.  "We are also discussing possible construction of a railway, however, at the moment we can say nothing specific," Martirosyan said on January 26.

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