Russia’s Kommersant newspaper has published a map showing the transportation corridors and railways in the South Caucasus, the opening of which was agreed upon by the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan during a meeting in Moscow on January 11.
According to Kommersant’s map, Azerbaijan will get a transport corridor and a railway to its enclave Nakhichevan located west of Armenia (see black and orange lines). These links, which go through Armenia’s southern Syunik region, will connect Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Armenia will be allowed to use that same railway, which goes from Yerevan to Syunik and passes through Nakhichevan (see black line).
Thus, the “transportation agreement” signed in Moscow will effectively open Azerbaijan’s path to Nakhichevan and Turkey, Russia’s path to Turkey and Armenia, and Armenia’s path to Russia and Iran.
The railway route from Armenia to Russia will pass through the following areas: Yerevan-Nakhichevan-Syunik-Horadiz-Baku-Dagestan.
These routes were actively used during the Soviet years, but have not been operating since the start of the Karabakh conflict. As a result, the Armenian railways were de facto reduced to a small section connecting Yerevan to Tbilisi. Goods from Russia are transported to Armenia via the Lars area, which is regularly closed due to weather conditions.
At the moment, the plans and strategies for ensuring the security of these roads and railways remain uncertain. Those who live near these roads and those who used them during the Soviet times are skeptical about safety guarantees. They tell CIVILNET that even before the start of the Karabakh conflict, duirng the USSR period, there were significant issues with the security of the roads. It is expected that Russian peacekeepers will play some role in their protection.
“Kommersant” also notes that the result of the January 11 meeting were received differently in Baku and in Yerevan. In Azerbaijan, the meeting was considered successful because an agreement was reached to unblock economic and transport ties in the region. But in Armenia, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was blamed for not prioritizing the public’s most urgent issue, which is the return of the captives currently in Azerbaijan. Instead, he discussed an economic agenda during the trilateral negotiations.
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