Weekly economic review

Analysis Materials 13 February 2007 12:02 (UTC +04:00)

Last week Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili, and Turkey Prime-Minister, Receb Tayyib Erdogan signed an agreement on building railway route in Tbilisi. It was the demonstration of a model of cooperation.

This is the third huge and considerable project after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline

Under the project it is planned to a new 105km railway route with 76km section running via Turkey and 29km вЂ" via the territory of Georgia.

The project is estimated to $422mln, while with the consideration of an adjacent infrastructure its cost will be $600mln. Azerbaijan approves $200mln credit to Georgia for 25 years with annual interest rate of 1%. The credit will be covered at the expense of profits to be obtained from the exploitation of the railway.

Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili said on 7 February 2007 that the project on construction of a new railway route Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is the first grandiose project, which assumes great importance and will benefit all three countries. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project makes the geopolitical turnover in our region and opens a new strategic route connecting not only the three counties of the region, but also the countries of Asia and Europe with each other and will become a firm base for the development of our regional cooperation

The Turkish authorities are considering opportunities for construction of a railway branch from Kars to Igdir, onwards to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev stated that the project on building railway route -Baku-Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki-Kars will unite Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey even more, as well as cement the regional cooperation. The implementation of this project will bring stability and peace to the region. He said that the project generally met with the economic interests of the nations.

Meanwhile, Armenians urge that the only objective of this huge project is to further isolate Armenia, which will intensify the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockade of Armenia. That is the question: Who loses the war?