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Georgian Railways should not be sold to Russia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 25
After the granting of management rights to the Enguri Hydropower Station to a Russian company Georgian political and economic analysts speculate that Georgian Railways might suffer the same fate. Though the Georgian authorities deny that such a possibility exists the same assurances were given concerning Enguri.

Russian political analyst Sergey Markov does not exclude that the same type of agreement could be made about Georgian Railways. Georgian experts think however that there is no economic need to sell Georgian Railways or hand over its management rights because even in the current economic crisis it maintains its capacity and transports cargo at an appropriate level.

Georgia’s rail network is a very important segment in the connection between the Caspian and Black Seas and thus Georgian Railways plays a substantial role in the east-west transport corridor. In 2008 Georgian Railways paid more than GEL 100 million into the state budget and it employs around 15,000 people. More than 21 million tonnes of cargo are transported by Georgian Railways annually.