ArmInfo. Russia is actively helping Azerbaijani and Armenian partners to reach an agreement on the Meghri route. Mikhail Galuzin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, who oversees relations with the CIS countries, stated in an interview with RBC.
So, when asked whether there were any advocates on the issue of opening transport and economic ties in the region, Galuzin, in particular, said: "On June 2 of this year, when the last meeting of the tripartite working group took place, the parties noted noticeable progress in moving towards opening transport communications. But we consider the unblocking transport communications between Armenia and Azerbaijan, namely in terms of the establishment of the Meghri route, which would connect the main territory of Azerbaijan with Nakhijevan".
To clarify, he means the so-called "Zangezur Corridor," Galuzin noted: "After all, we are talking about the railway through the territory of Armenia, so I took the liberty of using the term of Meghri route. Yes, in Azerbaijan it is called the Zangezur Corridor. Let's put it that way that this formulation suits everyone, we are actively helping our Azerbaijani and Armenian partners to reach an agreement. We believe that this agreement will be a very important factor in the overall stabilization in Transcaucasia."
According to him, these agreements will contribute to the economic development of all Transcaucasian states, because in this case Armenia will have the opportunity to become a transport and logistics hub, strengthen and expand its transport connections with Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Russia.
"Azerbaijan will have the opportunity to have uninterrupted rhythmic transport links between the two parts of the country. And the general stabilization of the situation in the Transcaucasus will serve to strengthen the foundations of trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan for the future. So we are determined to further promote these consultations within the framework of the trilateral working group," he emphasized.
To clarify how well-founded are the concerns in Yerevan that after Nagorno-Karabakh there will be a new war - precisely for this corridor through the Syunik region, and how in these conditions the contradictions between Armenia and Azerbaijan can be resolved, Galuzin expressed the conviction that they can only be resolved by continuing negotiations and finding mutually acceptable solutions, theoretically speaking. "In practice, we proceed from the fact that a tripartite working group should continue to meet, headed by deputy heads of government on each side, and continue the discussion with the participation of representatives of all competent government bodies on each side, which are, in one way or another, related to the issues under discussion ". And of course, everything should be done within the framework of international law. But as for the concerns that you mentioned that some kind of military action is possible, Russia nevertheless proceeds from the fact that it is advisable to solve all problems through political and diplomatic means," he concluded.
The Meghri route is a project of a transport route about 40 km long through the territory of the Syunik region of Armenia, which would provide transport links between the western regions of Azerbaijan and its exclave Nakhijevan Autonomous Republic. The opening of transport routes in the region was planned in November 2020 by the agreements to stop the second Karabakh war.