ArmInfo. In the process of negotiations on the restoration of transport links between Abkhazia and Georgia, no progress has been achieved so far, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told journalists on October 24 in Yerevan.
As noted by the head of the Russian Ministry of Transport, the transport connection between Abkhazia and Georgia is, for obvious reasons, interrupted. Russia is open to dialogue with Georgian and Abkhaz colleagues. "Negotiations are conducted by the Foreign Ministry through the Karasin-Abashidze contacts, which are held regularly - the last one was in September of this year," he said.
The result of these negotiations may be the opening of a railway and road transit through South Ossetia. "We are working on this project - the opening of the road through Tskhinval, through the Roki tunnel, the Transcaucasian highway - in principle, there is a canned checkpoint in Nizhny Zaramag in principle ready for operation, but so far it has not been possible to reach this result in the negotiation process with the Georgian side," - he said, adding that the parties are gradually and consistently moving in this direction, especially within the framework of the agreement concluded in 2011 with the Swiss company on transit communication. "We have such a tool for realizing these flows both by road and rail," Sokolov said.
The Upper Lars PP located on the Russian border, and the Georgian Daryal checkpoint, since the beginning of the 1990s has become the only land transportation route providing communication between Armenia and Russia. The checkpoint is periodically closed - in the winter due to avalanches, and in the spring - due to mudflows. Armenian officials and various experts repeatedly spoke about the need to open alternative communications to Upper Lars through the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Earlier, Kommersant reported that Moscow and Tbilisi agreed to start implementing the 2011 "On Trade Corridors" agreement between Russia and Georgia through the former Georgian autonomies - Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
According to the research of the British non-governmental organization International Alert, the reconstruction of the Abkhazian railway, which has been inoperative since 1991 on the route Sochi- Sukhumi-Tbilisi-Yerevan, will cost $ 277.5 million, which will be repaid not earlier than in 100 years. $ 251 million is required to restore the 190-kilometer Abkhaz section of Psou-Inguri, while from Inguri to Zugdidi, the cost will be only $ 26.5 dollars. From Zugdidi to Tbilisi and further to Yerevan, the road works and does not need repairs. It is noteworthy that according to the official conclusions of the Abkhaz experts this amount is $ 350-400 million, while their Georgian counterparts believe that it will require no more than $ 73 million.