Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to increase economic power of Azerbaijans Nakhchivan

Extension of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Nakhchivan will have positive impact on its role of transport corridor between Europe and Asia 

The construction of the railway line between Turkey’s Kars city and Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic has been launched, Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral told Trend. According to the ambassador, the work in this direction is carried out within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) project. "We consider Kars as a logistics center, which is being built," he said. "It is difficult to say at what stage the construction work is now, but most likely it will complete in the next two years. The work is currently underway to continue the BTK project. The issue is the extension of the railway line from Kars to Nakhchivan and the work in this direction has already been launched."

The ambassador said that BTK railway is a link between Turkey and Europe. "Presently, cargoes are transported from Kazakhstan to Turkey’s port of Mersin via BTK," he added. "Some cargoes are shipped from Russia to Turkey and Europe."

"It is difficult to disclose the volume of freight transportation in the future, but I can say that the potential will be fully used," Ozoral said.

On October 30, 2017, a solemn ceremony on the occasion of the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was held at the Baku International Sea Trade Port.

The BTK railway is built on the basis of the Azerbaijani-Georgian-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. At the initial stage, the volume of freight traffic will be at the level of 6.5 million tons of cargo, as well as up to one million passengers will be transported through this railway.

What is the economic and political importance of this railway line and how will it affect the withdrawal of the autonomous republic from the blockade at the next stage?

MP Azer Badamov noted that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is the door to Europe for our country. "Cargo transportations via this route have already been started and are underway successfully. I think that the BTK will become an irreplaceable route for the whole region in the near future, and Azerbaijan will have more economic and political dividends. There is no land border between Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan since the occupation of our territories. However, Nakhchivan is our integral part, and our state is implementing a lot of projects there in order to achieve high economic growth. The example to this is the extension of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Nakhchivan. Joining the BTK will expand the economic opportunities of Nakhchivan. Thanks to this, there will be a link between Nakhchivan and Europe via railway. Implementation of this project will allow to establish direct rail traffic between Baku and Nakhchivan and eliminate many problems with transportation. It is also a project of political significance. That is, once again we can show our enemies that we are insistent on the development of Azerbaijan as a whole, and we will liberate our occupied territories and create such a modern infrastructure there in the near future. We can also demonstrate to the world that every global project that Azerbaijan joins is successfully implemented, and this strengthens the image of our country,” he said.

According to economist Parviz Heydarov, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is of great importance. "BTK railway plays the role of communication between Asia and Europe. The idea of this project belongs to Azerbaijan. Despite the opinions that the project would not be profitable, our country fully implemented the project. There were several strategic goals in the implementation of this project. One of them was related to Nakhchivan. Unfortunately, Nakhchivan is now beyond the main territory of Azerbaijan. That is, there is no direct connection except for the air traffic between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, which is actually in blockade,” Heydarov said.

He emphasized that the extension of the railway to Nakhchivan will create conditions for its economic development and have positive impact on its role of transport corridor between Europe and Asia. "It is great advantage that Nakhchivan borders Turkey. Otherwise, the standard of living in Nakhchivan would be worse than now. Moreover, relations between Nakhchivan and Turkey are of great importance for Azerbaijan. The expansion of the BTK railway to Nakhchivan was also predicted. The joining of Nakhchivan to this railway will have quite a positive impact both from economic and political point of view. I think that this step will contribute to the economic development of Nakhchivan and increase the living standards of its population. On the other hand, it will further increase the importance of the BTK as Nakhchivan has a certain economic potential. The construction of this railway line will have a direct impact on the role of this area as a transport corridor between Europe and Asia,” the economist added.

According to tourism expert Muzaffar Agakarimov,extension of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Nakhchivan will contribute to the development of tourism. "BTK railway is a very important transport route in terms of tourism. Now, the extension of this road to Nakhchivan will allow to organize tours to this area. Nakhchivan is one of the most beautiful areas of Azerbaijan. I am sure that these tours will be very interesting for tourists from both Asia and Europe since Nakhchivan has a lot of historical monuments, rich cuisine and folklore. This is a good opportunity for tourism companies which can organize new and exciting tours to Nakhchivan,” said the expert.

Gunel Azade

13.11.2018 17:13 / Hits: 111 / Print
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