by David Stepanyan
Undoubtedly, the railway project "Baku-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Kars" promotes creating of the new geo-political configuration unfriendly to Russia, this time the transport one, Russian political expert, Sergey Markedov, told Arminfo corespondent.
"However, one should not overestimate its significance as a strategical platform of an alliance between Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as its further development depends on the factors which are far from the railway problems. I mean the situation in the Middle East and Ukraine, the dynamics of regional conflicts and Russia-West relations. Baku has already said that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will be put into operation in 2015, though its term was delayed for several times. The project was first of all given the political significance. That is to say, taking into consideration the fact that the railway is being built without participation of Russia, it should minimize the dependence of Baku and Tbilisi on Moscow", - the expert said.
In this context, he emphasized that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is watched by the countries which initiated this project as a trap for Armenia, which will find itself in absolute isolation if the project is fulfilled. In this context, it is important that the project is submitted like an evidence of Turkey's strength at the South Caucasus taking into account the fact that BTK is being fulfilled by Ankara and Baku bypassing the USA. He recalled that in June 2006 American congressmen voted against isolation of Armenia from the regional transport projects. Incidentally, BTK project is considered to be a part of a bigger project on creation of another transport corridor Europe-Asia.
Against such a background, the participants in the project think that Kazakhstan and China are economically interested in functioning of the BTK railway. And if China's plans in the region should be revised, Kazakhstan's interest in the South Caucasus is strict, he said. "Nevertheless, the political BTK project has political sentinels, including the social-economic ones developing into ethnic and the problems of the Azerbaijani population of Kvemo-Kartli region of Georgia. The Armenian populated Samnske-Javakhti region of Georgia plays a special part in these relations, and the prospect of its transformation into "Nagornyy Karabakh" contradicts Georgia's interests. Moreover, Georgia fears the growth of the Turkish influence in Ajaria and the reserve of Washington regarding the BTK project", - Markedonov concluded.