Kavkaz Poti Ferryboat Line Opens

TBILISI (Armenpress)–The ferryboat line connecting the Russian port of Kavkaz on the Black Sea with the Georgian port of Poti opened on Wednesday. The first flour-loaded carriages will reach the Georgian port in two days.

Kavkazpress news agency reported that Georgia is committed to uninterrupted operation of the ferryboat line–especially in winter months when overland roads connecting it with Russia are closed because of heavy snowfalls.

The ferryboat line was expected to begin working last January 20–but its opening was postponed twice at Russia’s request.

The ferryboat will transport up to 30 carriages weekly–part of which will go to Armenia. It will cut transportation cost of Armenia-bound goods by 30 percent.

The Georgian City of Poti–Armenia’s nearest seaport–can be reached by road from Yerevan. It serves as a primary gateway for Armenia–both for imports and exports.

Armenia has 840 kilometers of railway; however–of the three international rail connections via Georgia–Azerbaijan–and Turkey–only the Georgian connection to the Black Sea ports of Poti and Batumi are presently in operation–due to trade embargoes imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Armenian government officials and businessmen hope that the opening of a rail ferry service between Poti and Kavkaz–which was scheduled to operate in late January–would partly restore Armenia’s rail connection with the outside world.

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