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Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction continues

Thursday, September 18
A Coordination Council has met in Baku on September 16 to discuss different issues concerning the continuation of the construction of the Marabda Kartsakhi (Georgian segment) of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

The BTK railway will facilitate the continuous transport of goods from China to Europe and vice versa. It will be 98 kilometres long, 68 km of this being in Turkey and 30 in Georgia. The existing Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki railway will be rehabilitated as part of this project. The full project will cost USD 422 million, of which USD 202 million will be spent in Georgia and 220 in Turkey. Azerbaijan has issued a soft credit to Georgia for USD 200 million with a term of 20 years.

Armenia is very much opposed to this project, insisting that the existing Kars-Gumri (Armenia) railway should be reactivated. This could be done in a week, but would require the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border.