ArmInfo. Yerevan leads talks with New-Delhi on the issue of India's involvement in Europe-Caucuses-Asia transit corridor creating project, Vahan Martirosyan, Armenian Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications stated answering the question of ArmInfo on May 5.
According to him, by the end of the previous year pilot program on cargo delivery was successfully implemented from Europe through the territory of Armenia to Iran. "The project turned to be successful both from temporal and price point of view," the Minister stressed. He informed that currently the delegation of Ministry and Southern Caucasus railroads is in Teheran, discussing the possibility of the given route extending with Iranian freight traffic carriers within business forum. "The most important is to reach commercial attractiveness", Martirosyan stressed, adding that in case of negotiation talks success Indian companies would join him.
To remind, 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.
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 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.