Kars Gumri Road Included in TRACECA Programs

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The revised plans of the EU TRACECA transportation program includes the Gumri-Kars highway . Gagik Grigorian–head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Transportation and Communication Ministry said that the European Union implicitly admitted that the most advantageous way to link Turkey with West Europe is through Armenia.

Grigorian also said that the new plan was approved at the forum of the representatives of the "TRACECA" member-countries held in December in Tbilisi. Before confirming the Kars-Gumri highway. There was a lengthy discussion on other variants that bypassed Armenia–particularly–a new Kars-Akhalkalak-Tbilisi alternative railroad. But the European Commission considered the Georgian route unrealistic since preliminary calculations showed that it would cost $1million. It was also pointed out that both the railroad and the roads from Kars to Gumri are in good condition.

Grigorian also said that although other Armenian transportation routes were included in TRACECA’s earlier plans–no transit transportation were made through Armenia because of the blockade. The plans for the Gumri-Kars section include plans to help find finances for the repair and maintenance of these roads–although the road may function only after a political decision is made to end the blockade.

Grigorian also said that arrangemen’s are being made for the Armenian Transport Infrastructure programs to be included in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. All possible exits for Armenia through Turkey and Georgia have been introduced for the Black Sea ring-shaped map in spite of the malevolent attitude of Turkey.

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