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Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan Sign Declaration on Trans-Caspian East-West Corridor

By Khatia Bzhalava
Friday, April 1, 2022
Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Kazakhstan have signed a declaration on the Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor, which aims at strengthening the transit potential of the signatory states.

According to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, the declaration underscores the significance of strengthening cooperation and integrating the Trans-Caspian East-West Corridor into the international transport system.

The document also focuses on the significant role of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway line in promoting competitive transport between Europe and Asia. The declaration also emphasizes the need for infrastructure investments to increase the quality of transport operations along this route.

Last year, Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava stated at a meeting held within the Ministerial of Transport in Turkey that Georgia's role in the Middle Corridor is very important. She stressed that for decades, Georgia has been actively involved in various interconnection initiatives, including TRACECA, the Middle Corridor, the Black Sea-Caspian Sea Corridor, which aims to develop efficient, short, and reliable transport routes between Europe and Asia. She also stressed that Georgia has actively been developing transport infrastructure.

It is noteworthy that Kazakhstan had been in the works to redirect its export and transit cargo through alternative corridors as Russia faces international sanctions over its war against Ukraine. As Kairbek Uskenbayev, the Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan, announced on Tuesday, export and transit cargos from Kazakhstan would be redirected to the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TMTM) crossing Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. According to him in order to develop cargo transportation via the TMTM, it is also planned to create a container hub on the basis of the free economic zone seaport of Aktau.

Guram Guramishvili, the Deputy Economy Minister of Georgia announced yesterday that about two million tonnes of oil and other oil products of Kazakh origin would pass through Georgia’s oil terminal in the Black Sea town of Batumi in 2022-2023. Guramishvili stressed the ‘competitiveness’ of the Georgian corridor, stating that statistics of cargo transported by international rail were characterized by growth dynamics despite the global pandemic.