BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15
Establishing the Nakhchivan corridor in parallel to BTK Azerbaijan will add a new artery to the Middle Corridor, the mainland corridor that connects Asia with Europe and will strengthen its position as a regional transportation hub in the region, Orkhan Baghirov, a leading advisor at the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) in Baku, Azerbaijan wrote in an article to Euractiv, Trend reports.
Baghirov noted that the future Nakhchivan corridor will release the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, the landlocked exclave of Azerbaijan, from the economic blockade. Currently, overland and air connections of Nakhchivan with other regions of Azerbaijan are available either from Iran in the south or through Turkey in the west.
“Therefore, a direct link with Nakhchivan will shorten the travel time and will decrease transportations costs by creating new economic development opportunities for Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan. It will also eliminate past security concerns regarding Nakhchivan. The Nakhchivan Corridor will create new economic opportunities for the regional countries as well. Using this corridor, Turkey will directly access Azerbaijan without using the land routes of Georgia and Iran,” the author said.
Baghirov added that as this corridor will shorten the transportation distance and will decrease the transportation costs, the bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and Turkey will increase.
“It will also positively affect the tourism relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey as it will create a more comfortable land route for the movement of tourists. In a broader sense, the corridor promises to give Ankara another route to access the Caspian Sea and the Turkic world in Central Asia,” he wrote.
In his words, the creation of the Nakhchivan corridor is also advantageous for Russia as it creates an alternative land route to the regional countries. Armenia could also significantly benefit from the Nakhchivan corridor if it chooses to return to peaceful policies and cooperation, he added.
“By using this corridor, Armenia could end its economic isolation, join the regional transport projects and, more importantly, to get a land link to the market of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which was one of the main economic obstacles for Armenia in recent years,” he wrote.
Therefore, along with regional countries, the planned corridor should be in the interests of European, Central Asian countries, and China as it creates a new alternative for the transportation of cargos both in eastern and western directions, he said.