BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 5. The document "Agreed transport conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic", adopted on October 21, 2021 at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) TRACECA, allowed for continuous freight traffic, Secretary-General of the Permanent Secretariat (PS) of the IGC TRACECA Asset Asavbayev told Trend.
According to him, during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021), when the whole world was facing problems that had never happened before, TRACECA member states took various response measures against the situation.
"The TRACECA IGC assisted the member countries in organizing such events. The TRACECA IGC meeting took place on October 21, 2021, where all 13 participating countries supported the decisions and recommendations of the Permanent Secretariat. During this period, Azerbaijan's chairmanship was effective, as all the documents prepared by the country were supported and adopted by the IGC. There were roughly 16 issues on the agenda then, supported by 28 annexes (reviews, recommendations, concepts, action plans, reports). The documents were of particular importance, for example, the one called "Agreed transport conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic" played an essential role in cargo transportation," Asavbayev said.
He also noted that all the countries, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, faced restrictive measures and undertook uncoordinated steps.
"It turned out that one country could then be transited, while the other could not. In addition, the countries were introducing norms establishing 14 days’ mandatory quarantine for drivers. The main problem was about air and road transport. There were no difficulties with rail transport during the pandemic. Maritime transport also constantly ran," Asavbayev stated.
He also added that in the period 2020-2021, TRACECA resolved the issues of agreed and harmonized requirements so that they were the same for all member states. When countries were introducing certain measures, the IGC was trying to ease and bring positions closer.
"Thus, the document "Agreed transport conditions” defined border control measures for import and transit cargo. We proposed more simplified travel conditions for transit cargo movement, and I am glad that this document was supported at the IGC meeting. So, we were able to carry out continuous cargo transportation along the TRACECA corridor," Asavbayev said.