Tuesday, April 18 2017 17:31
Alexandr Avanesov

Iran suggested Georgia building corridor between Persian Gulf and Black Sea with Armenian participation

Iran suggested Georgia building corridor between Persian Gulf and  Black Sea with Armenian participation

ArmInfo. Iran suggested the  countries of the region to build corridor between Persian Gulf and  Black Sea, Vzglyad newspaper correspondent informed in Tbilisi. Iran MFA Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated during the  press-conference in Tbilisi that ?in case of corridor building  between Persian Gulf and Black Sea big opportunities   will be  opened, the price of transportation will be very low?. At the same  time he said that for implementing the idea of Tehran is necessary  cooperation with Georgia, Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan. He also said  that by the end of this week Georgian Prime-Minister Giorgi  Kvirikashvili will visit Tehran. "It will be historical visit", he  said.

As ArmInfo reported earlier, the first cargo has arrived in Iran from  Germany via the new multimodal transit route  linking Iran and Europe  through the Black Sea, Secretary of the  International Transport  Association of Iran Gholamhossein Amiri says. According to iran.ru,  the given route is further expected to replace  the one laid via the  territory of Turkey.  "Two cargo containers have  arrived in Iran via  Armenia," Amiri said. "The cargo containers were  sent from Hamburg  through a comparatively shorter route than the Turkish route," the  official said. "Over the past few years we had  some problems on the  Turkish border regarding transportation of  cargoes from Europe.   This made us launch negotiations with several  other countries for  alternative routes," he said.  Tehran and Ankara have had a transit  dispute because of different fuel prices in the two neighboring  countries. In addition, the common  border has often been a place of  traffic jam for transit trucks. The  queue on the border can reach 15  km. The contracts signed by the officials of the neighboring  countries' customs bodies failed to  solve this problem. Transit  safety is one more factor hampering cargo  transportation via Turkey.  Several Iranian trucks have become victims  of arson and Ankara  blamed the armed groups included in Kurdistan  Workers' Party.

The Iranian Government demanded safety guarantees  from Ankara, but  the results proved to be unsatisfactory. The Iranian  Ministry of  Roads and Urban Development advised the freight companies  to avoid  the routes running through Turkey. The Ministry recommended the truck  drivers to use two alternative  routes: one via Azerbaijan, Russia  and Belarus, and the other one -  via Armenia, Georgia, the Black  Sea, and then via Romania and  Bulgaria. "The price of cargo  transportation via Armenia has turned out to be 1-2% lower than via  the Turkish route," Amiri said. The  latest talks with Azerbaijan,  Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Italy and  Greece focused the transit  corridor involving these countries.  

Earlier ArmInfo reported that Yerevan offered Tehran to  carry out  multimodal transportation until the problem of Iran-Armenia  railway  construction was solved.  The then Minister of Transport and  Communications of Armenia Gagik Beglaryan stated that it was proposed   to carry out road haulage from Iran to Armenian town of Yeraskh, from   where to organize further railway transportation to Georgian Black   Sea ports and further to Bulgaria and Romania. At the same time the  cost of the transportation will be by $500 less than the cost of   service offered by Azerbaijan. The minister assured that the Iranian  companies are interested in Armenian side's offer. For the project  implementation a tender will be announced in the nearest future for  construction of Agarak-Sisian road, a part of North-South road  corridor, which will allow to reduce the time of transportation by 2   hours. This part of the road will be put into operation in the end of  2019. With the modernization of the road from Sisian to Yeraskh, the  use of the railway will be possible. The station in Yeraskh will be  equipped with large terminals, which representatives of Iranian  business are already interested in. It is estimated that the delivery  of goods to Yeraskh, and from there by rail to the Georgian Black Sea  coast will be $ 150 per ton of cargo cheaper than the route offered  by Azerbaijan.

The 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. Agarak-Kapan-Yerevan-Gyumri_Bavra road links the  South of the country with the North providing access to "Southern   Road Corridor" of Georgia which enables access to Poti and Batumi   ports or to the East towards Tbilisi. 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.

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