ArmInfo.The establishment of direct Armenian-Turkish trade and economic contacts changes the geo-economic balance. And it is highly important to assess these changes from the point of view of the regional and world powers, each of the South Caucasus states and all the neighboring states, believes Mr Ara Karyan, Associate Professor at the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University.
No doubt, of importance is the unblocking of transport communications in the South Caucasus, re-opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and establishment of direct trade and economic relations between Armenia and Turkey, as well as, to an extent, Armenian-Azerbaijani economic relations involving cargo transportation, energy carriers and electric energy. The primary reason is ensuring security and stability in the South Caucasus at the regional and international levels - the three official trilateral statements by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan after the Artsakh war, which deal with the unblocking of the infrastructure, and the practical efforts by the vice-premiers of the participating states; direct negotiations between the Armenian and Turkish political leaders over the unblocking of the regional transport communications and re-opening of the Armenian-Turkish border.
According to Mr Karyan, the unblocking of transport communications and re-opening of the border will inspire hopes for formation of an entire economic region with common norms based on international conventions and rules of fair business relations.
Possible benefits and risks to the regional economies, their potential competitiveness after the Armenian- Turkish border is re-opened, as well as socio-demographic and other consequences of reopening of the Armenian-Turkish border should be assessed, the expert says.
The Armenian-Turkish political and diplomatic relations are poor now. Therefore, Mr Karyan's question is: will the political and diplomatic processes will have their impact on the process of establishment of direct economic ties between the states launched this January with the participation of Armenia and Turkey and through Russia's mediation.
However, establishment of direct trade and economic relations between turkey and Armenia will contribute to relaxation of hostility and gradual construction of peaceful relations between Armenia and Turkey, which a top priority both for them and for the other regional states. On the other hand, the sensitive aspects should be considered as well. Turkey rejecting the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide, the unsettled Artsakh problem, Turkey's involvement in the 44-day war remain a heavy burden and bring historical, legal, social and emotional aspects into the relations and cannot be ignored in establishing direct Armenian- Turkish economic relations.