Azerbaijan intends to join Convention on International Carriage by Rail by end of construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 16 / Trend , E.Ismayilov/ The Azerbaijani Transport Ministry assumes that Azerbaijan and Georgia will join the Convention on International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) by end of construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Musa Panahov, the Deputy Transport Minister of Azerbaijan, said on Dec. 16.
"We will seek Azerbaijan and Georgia to join this convention by end of construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars," Panahov said at a workshop on International conventions, membership at OTIF and schedules of COTIF in railway transport field, taking place in Baku on Dec. 16 and 17.
It is planned to finish construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway by end of 2010, Panahov said.
The Baku- Tbilisi- Kars project includes the construction of 105km-railway lines, with 76 km section running via Turkey and 29 km section via Georgia. Moreover, 183 km section of Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway will be also reconstructed to improve the carrying capacity to 15mln tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build in Akhalkalaki a place for the transition of trains from the track existing in Georgia to the European one.
Azerbaijan and Georgia seek to join the intergovernmental organization on international carriage by rail (OTIF). Their main objective is to bring legal regimes of Azerbaijan and Georgia into line with the Turkish and European ones. Turkey is a member of the organization.
"It is necessary to join the convention to work in the united legal base after beginning of carriage via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route," Panahov said.
Joining this international convention will enable to integrate of the Azerbaijani transport infrastructure into the European international corridors, Panahov said.
It is too important for Azerbaijan and Georgia to join this convention, because Azerbaijan is working over a project on construction of a direct railway to Turkey via the Georgian territory. Turkey is a member of the convention and Azerbaijan, as well as Georgia should know how to organize railway carriage within the united legal frameworks, Stephan Shimming, the OTIF Secretary General, said at the workshop.
"When the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars communication will be put into exploitation, a direct entry of Azerbaijan and Georgia to European markets will be provided," Shimming said.
At present 42 states are members of OTIF and Estonia will join the organization on Jan. 1 in 2009. The united norms of OTIF regulate realization of a transport communication via railway networks, which total length amounts to 240,000 km.
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