ArmInfo. The meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan did not cover the possible launch of the Abkhaz railway section, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said, when replying to the opposition's accusations that the Armenian Premier's visit to Georgia covered issues related to the launch of the Abkhaz railway section, Georgia Online reports. "The opposition tells a lot of lies. This specific project was not discussed at the Government," Kaladze said.
To note, on Feb 24 Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said after his meetings in Tbilisi that Armenia and Georgia agreed on creation of a transport corridor, which will become an alternative to the Stepantsminda-Lars road linking Georgia and Russia. "We came to an agreement on both Lars (Upper Lars checkpoint - editor's note) and the energy corridor. In general, my visit to Georgia was fruitful, warm and constructive," he said.
The parliamentary political forces of Georgia were not glad to hear the information about possible launch of communication ways alternative to Upper Lars and this discontent was expressed during Karapetyan's recent visit to Georgia. In particular, the Georgian politicians are afraid that the "alternative ways" mean the Abkhaz railway. They think that the launch of the Abkhaz railway section runs counter to the country's political interests.
To note, in Jan 2013 the then prime minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili spoke of possible re-launch of the Russian-Armenian railway running via Abkhazia. Ivanishvili said that it would be possible to re-launch the railway in case all parties gave their consent.
According to the survey of International Alert NGO (UK), the potential costs of rehabilitation of the South Caucasus railways, in particular the Sochi-Sukhumi-Tbilisi-Yerevan railway will total $277.5 mln, which can pay for no earlier than in 100 years. The restoration of the 190km section Psou-Inguri will cost $251 million. The Inguri-Zugdigi section will cost $26.5 million. The section from Zugdigi to Tbilisi and farther to Yerevan needs no repair. It is noteworthy that Abkhazian experts estimate the rehabilitation of the railway at $350-$400 million. Meanwhile, Georgian experts claim that the project will cost some $73 million.