Yerevan, Baku agree on rail routes: Armenia to get access to Iran and Russia

During the meeting in Brussels the parties have reconfirmed the plans for construction of the Yeraskh-Julfa-Ordubad-Meghri-Horadiz railroad, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the government meeting today.

He reminded that the agreement had been reached within the trilateral working group on unblocking of regional communications co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan.

“The agreement had actually been confirmed during the meeting in Sochi on November 26 mediated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and was reconfirmed during the meeting initiated by the President of the EU Council Charles Michel,” PM Pashinyan said.

He emphasized that the railway will operate on the basis of internationally accepted tax and customs procedures on the principle of reciprocity and under the sovereignty of the two countries.

“The railway will provide Armenia with access to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan will get communication with the Autonomous Republic of Nakhijevan,” the Prime Minister said.

He noted that if the discussions with Turkey lead to the opening of the border and communications, the project could be of larger scale. Nikol Pashinyan reminded that the Yeraskh-Gyumri and Gyumri-Kars sections of the mentioned railroad already exist.

He said consultations in a narrow format will be held in the near future to discuss the roadmap, the timeframe.

“Our intention and our wish is to have that railway as soon as possible. I don’t want to overestimate the importance of this agreement and project, but I don’t want to underestimate it, either. This is an important agreement, which, I hope, will be implemented in a correct manner. It will considerably change the economic, investment, political and security environment in the region. And we must focus on solving this issue,” PM Pashinyan stated.

He noted that an agreement has been reached with the President of Azerbaijan to continue the contacts to try to coordinate approaches and overcome existing disagreements.

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