BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 18. Reopening transportation links in the South Caucasus stands as a fundamental aspect of the Armenian-Azerbaijani reconciliation, Maria Zakharova, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
"Unblocking transport communications in the South Caucasus is a key element of the Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization, built on the basis of a set of trilateral agreements at the highest level for 2020-2022. The Tripartite Working Group (TWG), co-chaired by vice-premiers from Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, has been entrusted with addressing this matter. As of now, 12 TWG meetings have been convened, with the latest occurring on June 2, during which a comprehensive examination of potential railway and road routes took place," she said, while commenting upon the benefits the Zangezur corridor is set to provide for the region.
Zakharova pointed out that substantial progress has been achieved after the 12th TWG meeting, with consensus reached on the operational details for reopening transportation links between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
"This agreement encompasses the steps required to reestablish and manage railway connections along the Yeraskh-Julfa-Meghri-Horadiz route. In our work, we proceed from the need to comply with the principles of reciprocity, respect for the sovereignty and jurisdiction of both countries," the spokesperson explained.
She emphasized that the success in unblocking transportation routes will not only propel other trilateral initiatives, but also contribute to the development of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the delineation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and the initiation of dialogues between social activists and parliamentarians.
Proposed by the Azerbaijani side, the Zangezur corridor aims to establish a transportation link between Azerbaijan's mainland and its exclave, Nakhchivan, passing through Armenian territory. This corridor emerged as part of the trilateral statement signed by Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Russian leaders following the 2020 second Karabakh war.
One point of the agreement outlined Armenia's commitment to ensuring the security of transport connections to Nakhchivan, facilitating the unrestricted movement of people, vehicles, and goods in both directions.
This route has great potential and could become one of the continuations of the "One Belt - One Road" project, as well as part of the North-South corridor.