Azerbaijan is ready to implement Kars-Nakhchivan railway project

Azerbaijan is ready to implement Kars-Nakhchivan railway project

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 16

By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

Commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway line will open a transport corridor that will connect Beijing and London, Turkish Minister of Transport, Shipping and Communications Lutfi Elvan told reports Oct. 16.

"Earlier, the two components of this corridor were missing, the Marmaray railway tunnel and BTK," he said. "The tunnel has already been put into operation, and BTK project is planned to be commissioned in 2015."

Elvan said the project is very important not only for Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, but the whole region.

He also said that the agenda also includes the issue of creating the Nakhchivan-Kars railway. It has been recently discussed with Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov.

"The agenda includes the issue of this project implementation, which is one of the most important for the cooperation between the two countries," Elvan said.

"The Turkish side is working over the project documentation and feasibility study as part of the Nakhchivan-Kars railway project," Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov told reporters. "The project will be implemented at the expense of Azerbaijan."

Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR) is blockaded due to Armenia's occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories. Communication with NAR is implemented either by air or by road through Iran. The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will connect Azerbaijan and Turkey, can complete by the mid-2015.

The Azerbaijani side will re-develop the railway independently, the head of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, Arif Asgarov said earlier. "However, the construction process in the Turkish section will also be considered. The Turkish side can implement this work independently. But Azerbaijani side's any participation in this process is not excluded.

It is planned to reconstruct the section from the border with Iran to Nakhchivan's Sadarak and to lay 10 more kilometers of lines as part of the Nakhchivan- Kars railway project.

One billion AZN is required for the Nakhchivan-Kars railway project's implementation, according to the preliminary data.

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