Tuesday, October 24 2017 20:37
Naira Badalian

Maxim Sokolov noted the lack of progress in negotiations with the Georgian side on restoring the transport connection between Abkhazia and Georgia

Maxim Sokolov noted the lack of progress in negotiations with the  Georgian side on restoring the transport connection between Abkhazia  and Georgia

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.

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