BAKU (Combined Sources)–The presidents of Azerbaijan–Turkey–and Georgia signed on Wednesday an agreement for construction of the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway. Turkey’s president Ahmet Necet Sezer and Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili were in Baku to attend the inauguration of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
The Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway comes as an alternative to Kars-Gyumri railway that used to connect Turkey with the South Caucasus. It was operational before the Turkish government imposed a transport blockade of Armenia.
The 98-kilometer railway will stretch between the city of Kars and Akhalkalak. The project–with a 68-kilometer stretch in Turkey and a 30-kilometer stretch in Georgia–is estimated at $400-450 million.
Its implementation will allow transporting 3 million tons of cargo–mainly oil–a year. Currently–oil is transported via Azerbaijan from Kazakhstan and Turkmen’stan to Georgia’s Black Sea ports.