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Motorway connection between Abkhazia and north Caucasus

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 19
On August 15, President of Karachay-Cherkessia, Boris Abzeev announced a project to construct a motorway connecting Abkhazia to the north Caucasus territories of the Russian federation, in particular Karachay-Cherkessia. With regards to the project, he mentioned that renovations of the so-called Sokhumi military road, which goes through Klukhori pass, are being considered. It is envisaged that according to the project different tunnels will be constructed along the road. Abzeev mentioned in particular two options of building these tunnels: from Teberta side it should be 12 km long and from Arkhis side 4.7 km long. Experts believe that the renovation and reconstruction of the so-called Sokhumi military road connecting Black Sea coast with the north Caucasus region might provide an extra boost to kick start the development of the Abkhaz economy as well as the economy of the north Caucasus. Some are of the opinion that this connection will be of important ideological significance for the so-called unification of the Abkhaz and Cherkez people. The Russian transport ministry thinks that the construction of these motorways should be conducted with close cooperation between state and private sector and the road should be commercial. The construction of this motorway has been on the agenda in Moscow since 2006 but of course following the events of August 2008 the project has become more realistic. The overall length of the old Sokhumi military road is 337 km; its construction started in the mid 19th century and was completed in 1903. It connected the north Caucasus town of Cherkassk to Sokhumi. The road from Cherkassk towards the pass is in reasonable condition, however a 13 km segment right on the pass is almost impassable for vehicles today. Russian analysts think the road could possibly be ready after one year, at least to the level of being practically used; this would be very profitable for the region and its economy.