As a result of the completion of the Georgian Government's meeting, the Georgian Foreign Minister, Gela Bejuashvili, stated on 10 January that irrespective of the position of the U.S. Congress, the Kars-Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki railway will be constructed, Trend Special Correspondent in Tbilisi reports.
The USA has the sovereign right to make such decisions. Washington refuses to finance the project, but that will be no problem, the finance may be obtained from other sources, Bejuashvili said. The Assistant Secretary of State, Matthew Bryza stated on 10 January that he does not support such position of the USA towards the Kars- Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku railway project after the U.S. President George Bush signed a law banning the financing of the project. We have always supported the projects directed towards strengthening transport links. We try to develop all projects, I repeat all projects connecting all the countries located along with East-West corridor, he said.
Project on railway transportation via Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku includes the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki branch with the length of 98km, including 68km long Turkish section and 30km long Georgian section. The definite reconstruction is required for the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi section. The average budget of the project is $400mln.
Georgia will obtain credit from Azerbaijan and Turkey to finance the construction of its section. The annual volume of the cargo transportation via the route in the first exploitation years is planned at the level of 2-3 mln tons, and will be delivered to 5-8 mln tons in the future.