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 Monday, November 27 2023 11:26
Alexandr Avanesov

Crossroads of Peace project impossible to be fully implemented -  expert 

Crossroads of Peace project impossible to be fully implemented -  expert 

ArmInfo.The Crossroads of Peace project is impossible to be fully implemented, political expert  Hrant Mikaelyan told ArmInfo. 

According to him, the project, in the form in which the Armenian  authorities present it, is unrealistic.  Moreover, it is also  questionable from the point of view of benefits for the country  itself. The expert noted that, leaving aside the economic component,  this initiative is fraught with problems related to morality and  politics. "It turns out that Armenia seemed to be waiting for the  defeat of Artsakh, after which it immediately came up with a similar  project. One gets the impression that Artsakh interfered with some  prospects of the country's authorities. From a practical point of  view, we can agree that this is not so, but from a political point of  view, corresponding conclusions arise, bearing in mind the policy of  the Armenian authorities," Mikaelyan noted.

Pointing to the statement made by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on  November 24 during a live broadcast, the political scientist noted  that the country's authorities themselves admit that Baku decided to  build complex transport interchanges with Iran, essentially  abandoning the Armenian "Crossroads of Peace" initiative. Meanwhile,  in order to accept any idea, including commercial ones, especially in  a hostile environment, it is necessary to have fairly strong  arguments, including in the field of security. "Statements about the  possibility of separating the economy from security were initially  erroneous, which there is numerous evidence of, especially in recent  years, but, unfortunately, no corresponding conclusions have been  drawn from this," Mikaelyan said, adding that to create a transport  hub, you need to be sufficiently confident and strong to protect  these transport communications in case of unforeseen circumstances,  which not only can happen in this region, but, obviously, will still  happen. Without solving these problems, the initiative of the  country's authorities will simply become a pipe dream. In order for  it to become realistic, a lot of things need to be done.

The economist added that opening borders is quite possible.

In addition, Mikaelyan continued, the interests of Azerbaijan should  not be discounted. Despite the fact that Baku has recently stopped  insisting on promoting the construction of a railway project  connecting it with its autonomy in Nakhichevan, nevertheless,  according to the political scientist, in the near future Baku will  continue to insist on an extraterritorial corridor, and this issue is  already becoming more active in the coming months, when emotions  subside after the events of September 17 of this year, which led to a  mass exodus of Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh.

On November 24, during a live broadcast, RA Prime Minister Nikol  Pashinyan said that the "Crossroads of Peace" project, which involves  the development of transport communications with all neighbors  (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey), was coldly received in Baku.  According to him, the initiative provides that each country, through  its state institutions, carries out border and customs control and  ensures security on its territory. "Azerbaijan's first reaction is as  follows: from now on, they seem to be no longer interested in this  project, since they are communicating with Iran. We are not against  it at all, but this is our proposal. Moreover, there is one more  point: simplification of procedures can occur on the basis of  reciprocity. They must be available for all countries participating  in the project. Here we are quite flexible," the prime minister  explained, adding that the Armenian authorities are trying to pursue  a policy aimed at increasing the sovereignty of the state in  institutional terms.

Pashinyan presented the "Crossroads of Peace" program in mid-autumn  2023 at the "Silk Road" forum in Tbilisi. The initiative should help  strengthen stability in the region by enhancing ties between Georgia,  Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey and Armenia. As part of these projects,  Yerevan plans to work on creating transport corridors from Asia  through the territory of Iran and Armenia, with subsequent possible  access to the Black Sea coast and further to European countries.  

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