BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 22. In the midst of situation in Ukraine, there are few viable solutions for transporting goods from East to West. The Zangazur Corridor stands out as the most optimal among them.
This is stated in an article of Stephen Blank, a Senior Research Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, published in The National Interest magazine, Trend reports.
The article said that recent border clashes in the South Caucasus have been all but eclipsed by much more publicized events in Ukraine. But make no mistake: the renewed fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia is of global significance.
The article noted that against the macroeconomic backdrop Armenia can no longer delay the construction of a critical new transport route between Europe and Asia: the Zangazur Corridor.
“This corridor, long tabled but currently blocked by Armenia, would run from Azerbaijan’s southwestern border through Armenia to the Azerbaijani Nakhchivan and then to Turkey and beyond. This is the missing link in one of the only East-West trade routes. If Armenia is really a friend of the West, as its large diaspora claims, it must return to the negotiating table and immediately allow the opening of the corridor,” Blank wrote.
Author noted that Armenia committed to opening the corridor within the November 2020 trilateral statement.
“In recent years, different factors have strengthened the region as a transit link. Successful collaboration between Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan has created new links, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway and the Southern Gas Corridor pipelines, that provide Europe with vital Caspian gas and other resources. This initiative gained further momentum when former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan started sending fuel and goods through Azerbaijan,” the article said.
The author noted that the Zangazur Corridor would become the shortest land transportation route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
“Armenia would benefit significantly by opening a missing link in the global supply chain. Yet, so far, Armenia has tried to backtrack on its commitment,” the author wrote.
At the same time, Blank said, generations of populist anti-Turkish and anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric have narrowed the space available for Armenian politicians to normalize relations with their neighbors.
“However, now is the time for Armenia to decide whether it is a friend of the West, as its strong and vocal diaspora in the United States and Europe firmly maintains, or not. If it is, it must resume peace negotiations with Azerbaijan and help open the Zangazur Corridor,” the author wrote.
He noted that in the midst of situation in Ukraine, there are few viable solutions for transporting goods from East to West. The Zangazur Corridor stands out as the most optimal among them.