YEREVAN (ARKA)—Armenia’s National Assembly approved a loan agreement on Tuesday with the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) worth $150 million for a fourth tranche of the country’s North-South road corridor.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Transport and Communication Gagik Beglaryan and Chairman of EDB Board Dmitry Pankin in Yerevan on April 14.
Funding for the project will be provided in part by the Eurasian Economic Community’s Anti-Crisis Fund, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication Artur Arakelyan told the National Assembly. The 20-year loan comes with a 5-year grace period with an interest rate of 1.65%.
The Armenian government approved the construction of the North-South transport corridor, as well as a $500 million framework loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank, on January 14, 2010. The project is also being funded by the European Investment Bank.
The goal of the project is to upgrade Armenia’s main corridor road as part of a broader thrust to improve connectivity and boost trade, growth, and other opportunities in the Caucasus and Central Asia regions.
The transport corridor will stretch from the southern Armenian town of Meghri, on the border with Iran, to Bavra in the north on the border with Georgia. It will enable Armenia to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The Anti-Crisis Fund will contribute $2.63 billion to the project. Established by the governments of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, the fund is worth $8.513 billion and is meant to provide support to member states in overcoming the aftermath of the global economic crisis, ensuring long-term economic stability and regional integration.