Armenia will not provide road to Azerbaijan without customs control – PM

The Armenian side will not agree to provide a road to Azerbaijan without customs control and duties, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at an online press conference.

Asked why it was not possible to reach an agreement on road communication and whether Azerbaijan has brought forward new demand unacceptable for the Armenian side, the Pashinyan said: “Before the Brussels meeting, I had already outlined the red lines for the Armenian side on my Facebook page, according to which we do not accept any corridor-related proposal.”

He added that the agreement reached on rail communication in Brussels was actually the summery of the Sochi talks “and what we recorded there is that customs and border control will operate on both sides, which is acceptable for us, acceptable for Azerbaijan and we agreed to launch the construction of the railway.”  

The Prime Minister emphasized that the position of the Armenian side on the roads has remained unchanged. He noted that the issue of roads should be divided into several parts.

“The first is the issue of legal regulations. If we come to an agreement on legal issues, the remaining issues become technical. The trilateral statement says that there should be a road connecting the western regions of Azerbaijan with Nakhijevan, but I want us to change the perspective, because this happens in the logic of opening of regional communications.”

“The difference is that we see this not only as a direct road connecting the western parts of Azerbaijan with Nakhijevan, but also a new, international transit road, which Armenia is also interested in,” Pashinyan said.

“Therefore, when we come to an agreement with Azerbaijan on the issues I mentioned, we must also reconsider our point of view with the logic that we must have a route that will be as attractive as possible for international transit cargo, because it will bring concrete benefits to Armenia,” he added.

“It is in this context that we have not ruled out and do not rule out the construction of a new road, which, in our view, will be a possible route of international communication. Our goal is to expand the North-South project into East-West, as well, i.e. some kind of cross-road, which will significantly increase the importance of that route,” Nikol Pashinyan stated.

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