ArmInfo. The company Racia FZE, which undertook to attract investments in the construction of the Armenia-Iran railway, demands from the Armenian government compensation in the amount of $ 160 million, the Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies of Armenia Ashot Hakobyan stated at a press conference in Yerevan on September 4, summing up the results of 100 days of his tenure.
According to the minister, the company registered in Dubai appealed to international arbitration, as informed by official Yerevan. Ashot Hakobyan found it difficult to specify the reasons for the appeal, noting only that a copy of the claim, drawn up in English, was sent to the government and is under study. Nevertheless, according to the minister, Armenia's positions are quite strong. "We are confident in our rightness," Hakobyan stressed, adding that the Armenian side is studying the possibility of attracting a large international law firm to protect its interests. He noted that the company, in accordance with the Memorandum signed in 2013, pledged to involve investors in four stages in the construction of the Iran- Armenia railway, but did not do anything other than developing a feasibility study for the project.
The project for the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway does not appear to be among the priority ones - there are no plans for its implementation in the program of the government for 2017-2022. Nevertheless, as earlier, Vahan Martirosyan stated when answering ArmInfo's question, this does not mean that the authorities refused to implement it. At the same time, according to him, for today there is nothing that would be optimistic. "At this stage, there are problems with the implementation of the project, deciding which, we will be able to move forward," - said the head of the Ministry of Transport. These problems, as pointed out by Martirosyan, are related both to investors and the implementation of a number of obligations, and to the study of the state of roads. As recognized by the head of the Ministry of Transport, Armenia is already lagging behind the earlier deadlines. According to him, there are certain limitations that, before they are eliminated, do not allow talking about progress. Martirosyan avoided stating which exactly. The fact that the railway project "Iran-Armenia", recognized according to the assurances of the Ministry of Transport of Armenia, economically justified, ordered to live for a long time, became clear already at the beginning of this year, when the government decree of January 12 eliminated CJSC "Railroad Construction Directorate "under the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of Armenia. Then the minister of transport, communications and IT of Armenia Vahan Martirosyan tried to calm the media representatives, noting that this will not in any way affect the implementation of the program for the construction of the Iran-Armenia railway. "As part of the Ministry operates the" Railway Management ", which can carry out the relevant functions," - he said. However, saying that negotiations in the direction of attracting potential investors in construction continue, the minister did
not name the names and countries - possible participants in the project. "We are working in this direction, but we all realize that the project is not an easy one and requires individual work with each individual investor," he said. It is noteworthy that the project, which was announced as early as in 2012, is not completely formed for today. "We are discussing the routes of connection with the operating railway via the Sevan coast (Sevan station), the other via the Ararat valley (Yeraskh station). At the moment, the route through Sevan is preferable," explained Minister Martirosyan. As he said, all for the same rough estimates, the payback period of the project is estimated at 22 years. The cost of the project was estimated at $ 3.5 billion. The total length of the road on the territory of Armenia will be 305 km. It will have 86 bridges, a total length of 19.6 km and 60 tunnels with a total length of 102 km. Construction according to the submitted program, it will be completed in 2022. It is assumed that the volume of cargo transportation by rail from Gagarin station (Gegharkunik region) to Agarak (Syunik region) will be 25 million tons per year. This road, which is 44 km shorter than the planned site of Gavar-Agarak, will be connected to the existing railway network. The launch of the projects "South Railway of Armenia" and "Southern Highway of Armenia" (Iran-Armenia) was announced in January 2013. At the same time, a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding on regional cooperation aimed at the development of the Southern Railway of Armenia was signed between the South Caucasus Railway, the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia and the Racia FZE company, registered in the United Arab Emirates by the company. After that, nothing more substantive about "Racia FZE" and negotiations with it was not announced.