Georgia's National Security Council will consider the possibility of a direct railway service with Russia through Abkhazia, the leader of the majority of the Georgian Parliament Georgy Volsky told journalists on Thursday.
Georgia-Online quotes him as saying that it is early yet to do this as it first necessary to attain progress in Georgian-Abkhazian settlement. "Here we should give priority to our national interests. We can discuss this project but we should not hurry to make it true," Volsky said.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Georgia's State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality Paata Zakareishvili commented on the statement by Vladimir Yakunin who urged more specific efforts on opening of the railway communication via Abkhazia and Georgia to Armenia. Zakareishvili said that the issue is not discussed so far, though it may become a subject for discussion in future between Georgia and Russia, particularly, between Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for the relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze and Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Grigory Karasin.
According to the study "Rehabilitation of the railways in the South Caucasus" issued by the International Alert British NGO, the potential costs of rehabilitating the South Caucasus railways, in particular the Sochi-Sukhum/i-Tbilisi-Yerevan railway, will totaled $277.5 mln, which can be returned in 100 years no sooner.
Restoration of the 190km section Psou-Inguri will cost $251 million. The Inguri-Zugdigi section will cost $26.5 million dollars. The section from Zugdigi to Tbilisi and farther to Yerevan needs no repair. It is noteworthy that Abkhazian experts estimate rehabilitation of the railway at $350-$400 million. Meanwhile, Georgian experts claim that the project will cost some $73 million.