Wednesday, November 13 2019 17:49
Alexandr Avanesov

Minister: Armenian government intends to attract 2 ferryboats in  order to activate the Poti - Novorossiysk ferry service

Minister: Armenian government intends to attract 2 ferryboats in  order to activate the Poti - Novorossiysk ferry service

ArmInfo.The Armenian government intends to attract 2 ferryboats in order to activate the Poti - Novorossiysk ferry. The Minister of Territorial Administration  and Infrastructures of the Republic of Armenia Suren Papikyan stated  this on November 13, answering the question of the National Assembly  member from the Prosperous Armenia faction Mikael Melkumyan.

The MP, in particular, pointed out that the throughput capacity of  the Upper Lars checkpoint on the border of Russia and Georgia is  capable of servicing up to 170 trucks, while up to 800 cars pass  through the checkpoint. The Russian side allocated for the  reconstruction of the road and the checkpoint 1, 9 billion rubles.  Work will also continue on the Georgian section of the border. As a  result, the number of serviced vehicles will be drastically reduced.  For this reason, the MP called for urgent alternative solutions to  the issue.

In response, Suren Papikyan stressed that he recently discussed this  issue in Moscow with Russian colleagues. The problem of finding an  alternative communication will become a topic of discussion during  the upcoming Transport Week forum in Moscow on November 18-21. The  Minister emphasized that there are unused ferries in Crimea that  could be used to service the ferry crossing, and discussions are  ongoing according to the most acceptable option. "The only thing I  can say now is that the ball is in the court of our partners, "the  minister said.

To note, according to ArmInfo, over the past year alone, 12,000  trucks, including from Armenia, passed through the Upper Lars  checkpoint. Given that the checkpoint due to adverse weather  conditions is idle for at least 40 days a year, we can conclude that  650 cars are serviced at the checkpoint every hour. The only land  route from Armenia to Russia runs along the Stepatsminda (Georgia) -  Upper Lars (Russia) highway.  The Georgian side intends to begin  construction of a new road leading to the borders of Russia by the  end of this year. For this purpose, the Asian Development Bank (ADB)  provided Georgia with a loan of $ 415 million. A 23-kilometer bypass  road will run along the Kvesheti-Kobe route, which is part of the  North- South transit corridor. After the completion of the project,  transit traffic will be possible without hindrance at any time of the  year. The length of the highway will be more than 22 kilometers, will  consist of six bridges and five tunnels, including a nine-kilometer  one. At the moment, the Georgian Military Road has 35 kilometers and  is one of the most dangerous roads in Georgia. In winter, the road is  closed due to the risk of landslides and avalanches. Earlier, ArmInfo  reported that from November 22, 2018, Russian Railways and the  Federal Tariff Service of the Russian Federation approved discounts  for the transportation of goods along the Port Caucasus - Poti route  for 2019 in the amount of up to 50%. Ferry cargo transportation on  the route Port Caucasus - Poti took on a regular character only in  February 2017 due to a significant increase in cargo traffic.  However, recently the leadership of the ferry has again transferred  its work to the "post fact" mode. This circumstance caused natural  discontent on the part of the business community of Armenia, and due  to ignorance of the circumstances of the issue, direct accusations  are made against the SCR, although the ferry, as you know, belongs to  completely different legal entities and does not have strict  obligations neither to the railway carrier, nor the Republic of  Armenia. The issue of involving a ferry that would serve the  strategic interests of Armenia, regardless of market conditions, has  been considered for over 10 years, but has not yet been resolved. 

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