RAILWAY IN ARMENIA: RUSSIA READY TO CONTROL RAILWAY INFRASTRUCTURE OF ARMENIA
Railway Market Magazine, Poland
Oct 30 2006
The talks of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his Armenia’s
counterpart Robert Kocharian begin in Moscow onOctober 30th, 2006.
The key issue of agenda is the last lucrative asset of Armenian
infrastructure – its railway facilities.
Moscow that just half a year ago, persuaded Armenia to buy Russia’s
gas at $110/ths cu meters instead of $54/ths cu meters and insisted
on transferring to Gazprom a portion of Iran-Armenia’s gas pipeline
and Razdan Thermal Station is eyeing Armenian railway system now.
Three weeks ago, Armenia announced the intention to grant on concession
its railways and is currently preparing a tender, which successful
bidder will control the railways in the following 40 years. But Moscow
has been long craving for reviving the through railway service via
Sukhumi to Erevan, the capital of Armenia. In future, it may turn
into a key component of North-South transport corridor, where Iran
The interest is so high that Moscow will probably urge Kocharian
to suggest the name of the winner to arrangers or to transfer the
facilities to Russian Railways (RZD) with no tender at all.
Georgia could become another delicate issue to be raised at the
talks. In the Kremlin, they are continuously looking for the methods
to pressurize Mikhail Saakashvili. Georgia fears one of the options
could be halting electric energy deliveries from Russia and Armenia
Another concern of Georgia is its Samtshe-Dzhavakhetia region,
which is the whereabouts for around 200,000 ethnic Armenians. There,
the atmosphere is rather heated as many locals used to work at the
Akhalkalaki base, of which Russia’s military are pulling out today.
So, Moscow may prompt Armenia to stage some turmoil there.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress