Armenia and Georgia Discuss Russian Transport Corridor

TBILISI – Armenia’s Minister of Transport and Communication Gagik Beglaryan discussed with representatives of the Georgian Government the opening of new roads that bypass the Upper Lars checkpoint, which is currently closed due to rockslides and flooding.

The closure of the checkpoint cut off Armenia’s only land corridor with Russia, leaving cargo trucks filled with Armenian products bound for the Russian market stuck on the Georgian side of the border.

Beglaryan visited Tbilisi to discuss the opening of alternative routes, including the strategic Georgian Military Highway.

The road connects the North and South Caucasus by cutting through the high mountains near Kazbegi in Georgia and continuing to Vladikavkaz on the Russian side of the border.

The East-West E60 transport corridor is an option, as the Georgian government extended the road in 2014 and opened a new 32-kilometer bypass road through Kutaisi in western Georgia.

Other possible routes include the Rustavi-Sadakhlo and Tbilisi-Geguti roads and Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Lars and Tbilisi-Lagodekhi-Bakurtsikhe highways.

Yerevan, however, would prefer the Khashuri-Akhaltsikhe-Ninotsminda road, which extends to the borders of Armenia.

By Eka Karsaulidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

07 July 2016 19:01