ArmInfo.Armenian government jointly with Georgian partners is working towards improving the situation at the Upper Lars checkpoint on the Georgian-Russian border, Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan stated on November 13 the parliament when discussing the draft state budget for 2019.
According to him, in the matter of transport communications it is important to ensure the entire cycle of transportation. In this regard, discussions are being held with the South Caucasian Railway aimed at increasing the company's efficiency as an alternative to road transport. Another direction is related to the Abkhazian section of the road, but in this matter Armenia is not a participant in the negotiation process in which Georgia, Russia and the Swiss carrier are involved. "However, we constantly raise this issue in order to solve it successfully at all meetings and at all levels"the acting head of the Armenian government stressed.
To note, the road in the direction of the Upper Lars is periodically closed due to the deterioration of climatic conditions. Yesterday there was again a multi-kilometer traffic jam 2 km at the checkpoint. At the moment, it is the only operating highway connecting Georgia and Armenia with Russia.Landslides, debris flows and floods also create problems. For this reason, the Georgian authorities decided to build a new section of the road along the Georgian-Russian border, including a 9 km long tunnel. Construction of the Kvesheti-Kobi section, located on the international road Mkhceta-Stepatsminda-Lars, will reduce the travel time from Tbilisi to the Kazbegi checkpoint by 1 hour. The project plans to build a 22.7-kilometer asphalt road, six bridges and five tunnels, including a nine-kilometer tunnel. Tunnel will be dug under the Cross Pass - from the village of Zkere to the village of Kobe. This tunnel will be the longest in Georgia. After the project is completed, the problem of landslides and adverse weather conditions will be completely resolved.
Earlier, ArmInfo reported that the authorities of Georgia and Russia agreed to apply the agreement "On the basic principles of the mechanism of customs administration and monitoring of trade." Intermediaries at the negotiations between the Russian Federation and Georgia were the authorities of Switzerland. Moscow and Tbilisi have agreed to invite international mediators to control the flow of goods and produce appropriate labeling. According to the document, the basic principles of customs administration and monitoring of trade at the Russian-Abkhaz border were regulated. The monitoring was to be carried out by Swiss company SGS, whose authority would include the provision of information on goods exported to Russia and imported from Russia along the specified transport corridors.