TBILISI (Armenpress)–Leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are expected to come together on September 20 in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi for a ceremony that will launch construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad.
Some 100 kilometers of new rail will be laid to complete the project, and extensive repairs on existing lines will be made.
Armenia is strongly against this project, which would see a rail system connecting the Azeri capital and the eastern Turkish town via Georgia, bypassing Armenia. The Armenian government instead pushes for the repair of the Kars-Gyumri line, which once connected Turkey to South Caucasus rail networks via Armenia.
The 68 kilometer-long Turkish part of the railroad will be built and paid for by Turkey itself. The Georgian part totals 30 kilometers and is being funded by a USD 200 million loan from Azerbaijan. It is s to be paid back over 25 years at a one percent annual interest rate.
The total cost of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad is estimated to be $400 million.