ArmInfo.Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the prospects of the so-called "Zangezur Corridor", noting that the topic was closed on November 9, 2020.
Thus, in an interview with Public Television, Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry published on the anniversary of the trilateral statement of November 9, in particular, touching on the clear position of the Russian side formulated in it on the so-called "Zangezurz Corridor". According to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry, if the roads are opened, then the countries through which the roads pass should have the sovereign right to control these roads.
" That topic had been closed still since November 9, 2020, when the declaration was signed, and I have referred to this issue numerous times. On the other hand, I must say that I highly appreciate the publication of the position of the Russian Federation to this issue, because, by and large, the Russian Federation has never had a different position. It should be noted that the position of the Russian Federation has simply been made public, or rather not the position of only the Russian Federation, but also the position of Azerbaijan, because, in fact, it is clearly stated that the parties agreed on it in the trilateral working group.
And I would like to draw your attention to the recent statement made by Turkey, where, yes, they use the term "corridor", but they say that this "corridor" should be under the control of Armenia. In other words, we can actually state that regardless of the preferences of the wording, we are talking about the opening of regional communications, I must say that the Republic of Armenia is interested in the opening of regional communications, I have stated this publicly many times. Azerbaijan is also interested, Russia is also interested, the Islamic Republic of Iran is also interested, and Turkey is also interested. The task is to bring closer and homogenize the perceptions over formulas.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, in reality, the trilateral working group has done an enormous job, (8 meetings were held in the format of deputy prime ministers). "In fact, the trilateral working group has done an enormous job, I highly appreciate the work done. I must say that at first purely technical work was done, for example, what roads existed, what roads can exist?"
Referring to the content of paragraph 9 of the statement of November 9 - on the opening of all economic and transport communications in the region, Pashinyan noted: "I would like to refer to the declaration of November 9 or 10 - there are different versions, depending on the time zones, 9 or 10 - the content of the 9th point. The 9th point says, the first sentence, "All transport and economic communications of the regions should be opened". After that, there is a reference to the fact that the Republic of Armenia guarantees the transport communication between Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan. After that, there is a reference to building new transport communications with the consent of the sides. What is this text about? This is about the that the existing transport communications must be opened, if later it turns out that the volume of cargo transportations is so large that we have to think about new communications, then we have to think about new communications. By the way, it is very important to state - I have said it several times before - our perception is that, yes, Azerbaijan, we already mentioned it, should have the opportunity to communicate with Nakhichevan through the territory of Armenia, the sovereign territory of Armenia, and we do not deny it, we accept it and we are ready. And our perception is that the Republic of Armenia, in its turn, should have communication with the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran through the territory of Azerbaijan. By the way, we are talking also about the following: When we say that Azerbaijan will have communication with Nakhichevan, we say that it will also have communication with Turkey. In other words, it cannot be only about internal communications. We are also pursuing the topic of international communication so that we can reach speedy solutions there. This is the answer to the question of what the working group has done?"
Pashinyan also noted: "The working group has written, drawn, studied all possible routes: Ijevan-Kazakh section, Berd-Tovuz section, Angeghakot-Bichenek section, Horadiz-Yeraskh section, Horadiz-Meghri- Ordubad-Yeraskh section. And our perception is that the Yeraskh-Ordubad-Meghri-Horadiz railway should be built, the Republic of Armenia - in its territory, Azerbaijan - in its territory, and this is also about the roads. In other words, the working group has put on the table all possible routes, including those that have access to the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran. And now we have to agree on those routes through discussions," at the same time he emphasized that: "In reality, the technical part is the most effort- consuming part, but not the most difficult. The most difficult part is what I already said, the issue of formulas, based on which formulas the communications should open and operate. By the way, as for the formulas, I can say the following. I think it is clearly mentioned in the trilateral statement of January 11 and also the Co-chair of the working group, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexei Overchuk said recently that there should be customs, passport and phytosanitary control at the border checkpoints. These are nuances needing very gentle work and discussions."
He also added that:"This process goes on, but with some difficulties. There are also technical issues and the working group has presented how to resolve separate technical issues. However, the rest remains in the realm of political decisions, which, of course, cannot be free of influence of the existing technical foundations."