Minister: Azerbaijan to provide Georgia additional $575 million for railway construction
Georgia, Tbilisi, May 19 /Trend, N.Kirtskhalia/
Azerbaijan will allocate additional $575 million for Georgia for the construction of the Georgian section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Ramaz Nikolaishvili and CEO of Kartsakhi-Marabda Railway Company Bidzina Bregadze said at a joint briefing in Tbilisi.
Nikolaishvili held a briefing on the results of his meetings in Baku with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov and Finance Minister Samir Sharafov.
The Georgian foreign minister said the allocated funds will be spent on construction and rehabilitation of the railway section Tetritskaro-Akhalkalaki, the construction of the railway station in Akhalkalaki and the construction of another railway infrastructure.
Amendments were made to the agreement which was signed by the Transport Ministers of Azerbaijan and Georgia
"This is a very important decision, and we are grateful to the Azerbaijani side for its understanding. Commissioning of the railway will attract new freight and passenger traffic, since it will connect Asia and Europe with the shortest route," said Nikolaishvili.
In his turn, Bregadze said that this loan was allocated to Kartsakhi-Marabda Company and is not a state debt. "This loan will be repaid with profits from the project after the railway is launched," he said.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is constructed based on Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish inter-governmental agreement.
Additional funding does not include $200 million previously allocated by Azerbaijan to Georgia. At the expense of the State Oil Fund, the Government of Azerbaijan has provided Georgia $200 million as a loan for 25 years at an annual rate of one percent.