Blockaded Yerevan and ... all Armenian roads


Are the Armenians "betting" on Iran?

Recently in Tehran, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was received by the newly elected Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi. According to TASS, citing the press service of the Armenian Council of Ministers (August 6), the parties

“... discussed ensuring the vigorous activity of the free economic zone“ Meghri ”(the southern Armenian region bordering with Iran. - Approx. Auth.) And the possibility of applying the regime of free trade between Iran and the EAEU (this regime has been in effect since November 2019. - Approx. author) as an incentive for the development of cooperation in this area. "

It was especially noted that Pashinyan (pictured):

"Welcomed the Iranian interest in the construction of the North-South highway (Sisian-Meghri: in central and southern Armenia. - Author's note), and the Armenian government is ready to discuss the participation of Iranian companies in the international tender for the Sisian-Meghri section."

They also discussed the implementation of a number of regional projects with the participation of the two countries and, indirectly, the possibility of unblocking Armenian highways, through which cargoes from Iran can go. Although no official documents were signed during the negotiations to resolve these issues.

How realistic is the prompt lifting of the blockade of transport routes in the south of Transcaucasia to Turkey?

Nobody is able to assess this yet - the memory of Nagorno-Karabakh is too fresh. There are ways - both through Armenia and to Iran through the Nakhichevan region of Azerbaijan. But it seems that the task of using them is only theoretically indicated by all parties.

In the foreign trade transit of Russia and in the international cargo transit - through the Russian Federation and the Transcaucasus - a stake has been made on increasing the role of Turkey and Azerbaijan with Georgia, friendly to Ankara. This, in turn, will strengthen the political role of Turkey both in the region and in Russia's relations with all the countries of the Transcaucasus.

However, on May 24, 2021, a "Memorandum of Understanding" was signed in Yerevan between the Ministry of Economy of Armenia and the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development of Iran. This document is notable for the following: according to ARKA news agency (Yerevan, May 25),

"... during the negotiations, the heads of these departments discussed tariffs for the transit of Iranian goods through Armenia." It was also reported that "within the framework of the visit to Yerevan of the Minister of Roads and Urban Development of Iran, Mr. Eslami, negotiations were held on the use of the Armenian route along the part of the North-South transport corridor in the direction of the ports of Georgia."

Blockaded Yerevan and ... all Armenian roads

In turn, the Jam-News (Yerevan) news agency on July 15 made a reference to the statement of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad two months ago in Yerevan:

“The minister stressed the need to form a new transport architecture in the region. Considering in its basis, according to the minister, the operating railway Iran - Nakhichevan - Armenia - Georgia: Tehran - Tabriz - Julfa - Nakhichevan - Yeraskh - Yerevan - Tbilisi - ports of Georgia.

First number - Ankara

But all these plans and intentions remain theoretical.

The fact is that the BTK railway artery: Kars - Akhalkalaki - Tbilisi - Baku (Turkey - Georgia - Azerbaijan), operating since 2017, has gone beyond the limits of regional significance by 2021: in the direction of Russia.

Let us recall that our country is a party to the agreements of 2020 on the unblocking of steel highways in the South Caucasus, including transit ones. Namely: in Ankara on May 6, 2019, the heads of the railway administrations of Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a corresponding trilateral memorandum.

It provides for joint actions to ensure regular rail transport along the BTK route, including the establishment of economically justified preferential tariffs and the attraction of a new cargo base (Georgia joined the document at the end of 2019).

“In this vein,” according to the Azerbaijani news agency “Haqqin. Az "dated July 24, - a project is being discussed" for the construction of a second railway track with a gauge of 1520 mm in 76 km on the site near Kars and the terminal and logistics center in Kars. But Russian Railways goes further, offering its Turkish colleagues to deliver goods through the Russian Federation from South Korea, China and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region. "

As for the transit alternative in South Transcaucasia, according to estimates by International Alert and a number of Russian specialized experts (2019–2021), the restoration of the Transcaucasian Transsib - the Turkish-Armenian-Azerbaijani railway corridor Kars - Gyumri - Yerevan - Nakhichevan - Julfa - Meghri - Mindjevan - Horadiz - Alat - Baku (passes near the borders with Turkey and Iran) - will cost at least $ 430 million.

Of this amount, up to $ 280 million is required for the restoration of land plots in Azerbaijan, over $ 115 million for Armenia, and about $ 55 million for Turkey. These figures include the cost of restoring the Azerbaijani-Julfa-Iranian border crossing point Julfa.

That is, leaving behind the brackets the well-known problems of Armenia with Azerbaijan and Turkey, the unblocking of the South and Transcaucasian steel highways in this region also rests on the financing of restoration work.

Armenia - not even the second

At the same time, the BTK route is actually operating. And, most likely, it is more profitable for the Russian side to "increase" its use than to invest - albeit partially - in the abovementioned restoration costs.

Maybe this is why no “collective” measures have been taken to lift the almost 20-year-old Turkish transport blockade of Armenia?

Then what are the real prospects of the RF-Azerbaijan-Iran railway corridor along the Caspian coast? Moreover, the creation of a connecting Azerbaijani-Iranian section (Astara - Rasht) here is only about 100 km, has it stalled since 2020?

In any case, the aforementioned 2019 railway agreement with Russian participation on the use of BTK predetermines such issues. The same questions are also conditioned by the explanations of the first deputy director of JSC "Russian Railways" Sergei Pavlov for the central Turkish news agency Anadolu on February 17:

“The dispatch of the first container train from Turkey to Russia on the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku-Kars railway (see map), which completed its route on February 9, was an important step towards the expansion of railway trade, and will also contribute to the further growth of trade between the two countries. The Russian side is ready to take all necessary steps to ensure regular cargo transportation along the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway route. ”

A similar assessment of the prospects of BTK was expressed in the Turkish Star (Istanbul) on April 10, 2021, Adil Karaismailoglu, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey:

“Freight traffic on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in the first quarter of 2021 increased by almost one and a half times compared to the same period last year. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project, along which the Turkey-Russia route passes, contributes to the development of the North-South transport corridor. We predict that deliveries along the BTK route will continue to grow. "

Adil Karaismailoglu in front of the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku train

According to preliminary estimates of the same Turkish department, cargo transit to Russia, and in 2022 - to the countries of Central Asia, will be in both directions - the main transit trade flow through the BTK.

In the meantime, the less long railway route of the Russian Federation - Turkey - through the Azerbaijani-Armenian section of Akstafa - Ijevan, about 50 km - has not yet been unblocked. Given that up to 90% of the Transcaucasian length of this highway is in working order today.

Judging by all the signs, Russia's "transit" (is it only transit?) Dependence on Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan will only increase.

And the unblocking of Yerevan - the real unblocking of railways in South Transcaucasia will most likely be postponed. Under the pretext that the political issues in the "triangle" Turkey-Armenia-Azerbaijan have not been resolved.
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  1. +8
    20 August 2021 11: 11
    Who put where, on whom ???
    And what do they want to get in the end?
    They don't want to teach history, their brains are on one side ... the result is predictable.
    1. +5
      20 August 2021 12: 27
      Quote: rocket757
      the result is predictable.

      All will blame Russia.
      1. The comment was deleted.
        1. +4
          20 August 2021 12: 36
          Quote: rocket757
          In general, yourself, yourself, as always!

          So the Russian peacekeepers are already there, the opinion of many on this issue from the Azerbaijani side is very negative, the threat to their lives is very real.
          1. +6
            20 August 2021 12: 40
            The peacekeepers there, with their goals and objectives .... the question is, what does Armenia have to do with it, this is not their territory, they have not been able to give an official status as their own country to a part ... in short, on this issue they can be written off.
            How will the Azerbaijani authorities behave, is that a question ??? But, before with them, just, there were no special problems.
            Things can of course change ..... boom look.
            1. +4
              20 August 2021 12: 57
              One thing will be certain. Both sides will blame Russia for all the troubles.
              1. +1
                20 August 2021 13: 08
                Yes, we do not care, on there, from the high bell tower.
                If they themselves make porridge for them and disentangle it.
                1. +2
                  20 August 2021 13: 10
                  Quote: rocket757
                  Yes, we do not care, on there, from the high bell tower.
                  If they themselves make porridge for them and disentangle it.

                  But what about the (long-obsolete format. IMHO) CSTO?
                  1. +7
                    20 August 2021 13: 37
                    What's wrong with the format? Did I miss something? Someone attacked Armenia ... when?
                    1. 0
                      20 August 2021 13: 57
                      Quote: rocket757
                      Someone attacked Armenia ... when?

                      Not yet, but supposedly Azerbaijan seems to want to build (if it has to, then by force) "Zangezur Corridor".
                      Another aggravation of interethnic relations in the region took place in the late 1980s, against the backdrop of the Karabakh conflict. At the beginning of 1988, the first refugees from the Kafan region of the Armenian SSR arrived in Azerbaijan [36] [37], in November the mass expulsion of Azerbaijanis from Armenia began [38].

                      In Soviet times, the railways Ordubad-Agarak-Meghri-Minjivan and Kapan-Zangelan-Minjivan passed through the territory of Zangezur. With the beginning of the first Karabakh war, the railway communication in this section was stopped. The unrecognized NKR came under the control of the Azerbaijani regions between the NKAO and the Iranian border - Kubatly, Zangelan, Jebrail and a third of the Fizuli region. The railroad tracks were dismantled, the land connection of Nakhichevan with Azerbaijan through Armenia was interrupted [39].

                      After the end of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020, a project to restore transport links between the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and the western regions of Azerbaijan through Zangezur began to be considered

                      a hypothetical transport corridor with a length of about 40 km through the territory of the Syunik region (Zangezur) of Armenia, which is considered as a possible, with the agreement of Azerbaijan and Armenia, a means to ensure transport links between the western regions of Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.
                      1. +4
                        20 August 2021 14: 07
                        Those. like, supposedly, if only .... no, no, the CSTO will not rustle on such tips. And it is right.
              2. +1
                21 August 2021 16: 11
                Quote: Tank Hard
                One thing will be certain. Both sides will blame Russia for all the troubles.

                Is it over us, theirs hemorrhoids?
                Armenians again want to enter paradise on someone else's hump.
                And then again run around with the posters "Russia Akkupant", "Go Hom", "Russia Down" ...
  2. +5
    20 August 2021 11: 12
    No matter how the blockade turns into "amputation".
  3. +6
    20 August 2021 11: 17
    I look at the map and understand that this was not the last war ...
  4. +4
    20 August 2021 11: 25
    did not want to live according to the precepts of Shaumyan-Bagirov-Mikoyan.
    build your own. small nests.
    Where will the chicks from those nests fly?
    and the North-South Caspian-Iran Corridor is needed for trade with India. not enough for now
  5. +9
    20 August 2021 12: 01
    Of course, I am not a logistician by education, but if a transport corridor from the south of Russia to Iran is required, it may be better to use the Caspian Sea as a transport artery. Why do we need an intermediate link in the person of Azerbaijan, and even more so Armenia?
    Tomorrow these countries will arrange another conflict and we will get problems out of the blue.
  6. +3
    20 August 2021 12: 05
    Recall that our country is a party to the agreements of 2020 on the unblocking of steel mains in the South Caucasus, including transit

    in fact, that we are all in the old fashioned way: "railway"
    Down with archaisms!
  7. +1
    20 August 2021 12: 05
    For Armenians, now the most important thing is the Zangezur passage. If they pass it, Armenia can be recorded in the history textbook "for the most stupid"))))
    1. 0
      20 August 2021 12: 33
      Quote: TermNachTER
      If they pass it,

      How can they not surrender it? The minus is not mine.
      1. +2
        20 August 2021 12: 38
        There are countries that are also against it. Russia and Iran.
        1. 0
          20 August 2021 12: 39
          Quote: TermNachTER
          There are countries that are also against it. Russia and Iran

          Are you proposing to start a war?
          1. +1
            20 August 2021 12: 40
            What for? There are political and economic methods, especially since the economic situation in Turkey and Azerbaijan is not at all brilliant.
            1. +5
              20 August 2021 12: 55
              Quote: TermNachTER
              There are political and economic methods, especially since the economic situation in Turkey and Azerbaijan is not at all brilliant.

              Judging by the guests in the capital and the planes helping in Turkey, someone has no desire to do what you wrote.
              1. +1
                20 August 2021 17: 25
                Fires are extinguished in accordance with a previously signed agreement. To refuse means paying fines and being branded as an unreliable partner who does not fulfill its obligations. However, this does not help the Turks much, the situation in the country is awful. I wish Erdogan creative Uzbeks))))
  8. +5
    20 August 2021 12: 53
    The most profitable way is to lay a transport highway through its territory, from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Then leave all these Caucasian children to their fate. I am sure that any costs will quickly pay off.
    1. +6
      20 August 2021 12: 59
      Quote: Mikhail3
      The most profitable way is to lay a transport highway through its territory, from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea.

      And tomatoes their it is profitable to grow, however ... ((
    2. sav
      20 August 2021 13: 20
      Quote: Mikhail3
      It is most profitable to lay a transport highway on your territory

      Someone really does not want this. And he chooses dependence on the Caucasian regimes.
  9. -3
    20 August 2021 18: 43
    Why not open the railway communication that was between Azerbaijan and Armenia and ran into this Zangezur corridor ?? It's just 1 to chop off another part of Armenia and 2 once again to cut off Armenia from all international transport routes
  10. +1
    20 August 2021 23: 26
    I agree with Proton and mikhail3 - the most profitable corridor across the Caspian Sea, it is more expensive to associate oneself with two Russophobic enclaves.
    it is another matter that the pro-Turkish and pro-Armenian kagal have strong positions in the Kremlin - they do not care about the interests of Russia.
  11. 0
    22 August 2021 11: 27
    Quote: Proton
    maybe it is better to use the Caspian Sea as a transport artery
    The Caspian Sea is already being used to the maximum. Another thing is that this maximum is ... quite small. We (and Iran) do not have large container ships in the Caspian. And it won't. Plus the problem is in the Volga delta. Passage to the Volga from the Caspian Sea for more or less large ships is possible only through the Volga-Caspian Shipping Canal (VKSK) From the first years of the VKSK operation, it became necessary to combat the drift of the slots by sea and river sediments. This problem was solved by traditional methods: annual maintenance dredging and fencing of the canal with dams. In 1995, the volume of dredging works on the canal was 0,8 million m³, in 1996 - 1,7 mln m³, in 1998 - 1,8 , 3 million m2015. In 5,3, in order to maintain navigation depths on the shipping channel, the branch had to raise 3 million mXNUMX of soil from the bottom of the Volga and the Caspian Sea. Not even half was raised.
    Again, the Lower Volga "does not work" from December to April. And the Upper Volga does not work from November to May.
    Plus a significant number of gateways. The dimensions of the locks allow only two five-thousanders to be locked. However, 3600 tonnages are also locked by no more than two at a time.
    There is a problem area in the Gorodets area. Five-thousanders, in order to pass it, are forced to load only 3000 tons. And that doesn't always help.

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