Georgia, Tbilisi /corr. Trend S.Aliyev / Completing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project will positively affect not only the development of this region, but also the whole world, said the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on 21 November during a ceremony to commence construction of the railway. This project will strengthen transportation security, which is as vital as energy in this region.
The completion of the project will bring an enormous increase in security and cooperation to the area. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have already finished several other joint projects, including Baku-Supsa, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline.
"I am sure that this project [Baku-Tbilisi-Kars] will be as successful as previous projects," said the President of Azerbaijan.
According to the President, the project had been uncertain, and talks had been held with international financial institutions for financing the project, but they yielded no results.
"Today, we ( Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey) will finance and accomplish this project ourselves," the President said. All technical and financial issues have now been resolved and a feasibility study has been planned. Working together, the three countries have initiated, financed and finalized the project of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars. After the project's construction is finished, other countries will also be able to join it.
Azerbaijan has allocated a $200mln loan for the Marabda-Kartzakhi Railway line, to be repaid over 25 years with a 1% interest rate. The funds will be directed specifically towards constructing a new 29km railway in the Georgian region, and a station for replacing wheel steam on the border with Georgia. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed the final document on construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in February.