Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
The railway crossing with Turkey at Akhuryan station is ready for operation, Spokesman of the South Caucasus Railway CJSC Vahe Davtyan told ArmInfo on Wednesday, when asked to comment on the statement by the head of Erzurum Regional Railway Department of Turkey, Yunus Yesilyurt, that the line to the Armenian border may be repaired by the end of this year.
Davtyan said that in 2009, following the signing of the Armenian- Turkish protocols, the South Caucasus Railway carried out a feasibility study to see if it was possible to create an international logistics center on the basis of Akhuryan station.
"As a result, we developed a business plan and said that should there be a political decision, it would take us just a week to resume railway traffic with Turkey. The project attracted lots of businessmen. I personally presented it to potential investors during TRACECA meeting in Istanbul in 2010. Some of them said that it was a promising project and expressed commitment to fund it," Davtyan said.
He said that in developing the Akhuryan international logistics center project the company considered all potential cargo services. "The terminal has all necessary infrastructure. According to our estimates, some 300,000-2,500,000 tons of cargo can be carried through the crossing in one year at the initial stage.
Earlier Yesilyurt said that the railway to Kars had already been repaired and by the end of this year they would finish the repairs of the section from Kars to the Armenian border.
The Gyumri-Kars railway connecting Armenia with Turkey was built in the period of the Russian Empire. The agreement signed by the USSR and Turkish Governments on direct Soviet-Turkish railway service came into force on 11 October 1961. In 1993 the Armenian-Turkish border was closed on official Ankara's initiative. The tense relations between the two countries were caused by Ankara's support of the Azeri stance on the Karabakh problem and Turkey's sharp reaction to the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide 1915 in the Ottoman Empire. The last train with cargoes crossed the border on 6 July 1993.
SCR CJSC is the 100% subsidiary of Russian Railway OJSC and the concessional manager of Armenian Railway under the 13 Feb 2008 Concessional Agreement. The agreement was signed for 30 years and may be prolonged for 10 more years.