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 Tuesday, January 16 2024 21:09
Naira Badalian

Crossroads of Peace is pan-Turkic project imposed on Yerevan by  Ankara and Baku - Arthur Khachatryan

Crossroads of Peace is pan-Turkic project imposed on Yerevan by  Ankara and Baku - Arthur Khachatryan

ArmInfo.Opposition MP from the Armenia bloc Artur Khachatryan is convinced that the Crossroads of  Peace project, promoted on international platforms by Prime Minister Pashinyan, was imposed on Yerevan by Ankara and Baku, the MP stated  in a conversation with ArmInfo.

According to him, since February 2022, he has been trying in vain to  get an expert assessment of the economic feasibility of this project  from the government, specifically from the Ministry of Territorial  Administration and Infrastructure.

 The department refuses him, citing the fact that a feasibility study  has not yet been carried out. In this regard, on December 6, 2023,  during the government hour in parliament, he asked the prime minister  on what basis, in that case, the RA authorities are talking about the  economic feasibility of the Crossroads of Peace project.

Pashinyan then said from the rostrum of the National Assembly that  the concept of the Crossroads of Peace was based not only on economic  calculations, but on a much broader and comprehensive approach, since  the project has not only economic significance, but also great  regional and political significance, and is directly related to  security issues. The Prime Minister also assured that there are such  calculations, these are calculations of an international organization  and the government is ready to share them.

Khachatryan received a response from the government, but in the form  of a "research certificate". And, although the document was provided  to the MP , he assures that it did not  provide answers to the questions he posed, set out in the MP's  request. "That is, the document did not contain studies of the  economic feasibility of the project. And I'm still waiting for  answers to key questions," he says.

The MP recalls that he made a similar request to Minister of Economy  of Armenia Vahan Kerobyan two years ago, when the latter stated that  the implementation of the "Armenian Crossroads" project (the  "Crossroads of Peace" is its rebranding) promises to increase  Armenian GDP by almost a third. "Then Kerobyan provided me with a  document from 23 years ago, that is, research done on the basis of  data for 1998. It is clear that this data cannot be used in the  process of making such decisions. And, despite the fact that the head  of the Ministry of Economy then promised to share more recent data,  he never kept his word," Khachatryan points out.  The MP notes that  every time such questions are raised, the ruling party starts  demagoguery, pointing out obvious arguments: "open roads are better  than closed ones". "But Turkey and Azerbaijan closed the roads more  than 30 years ago, setting political conditions for us. Today we do  not have an answer to the question of what conditions Ankara sets for  Yerevan to open roads. Secondly, theoretically, of course, an open  road is better, but an open road and a road that promises economic  benefits to the country are two different things>, the  parliamentarian notes.

Arthur Khachatryan is convinced that the Crossroads of Peace is a  pan-Turkic project through which land communications are provided to  the Turkic nations - from the Bosphorus to western China. In this  vein, the MP does not rule out that after all, it is possible that  they are the ones financing the project, since the Armenian state  treasury does not have such funds (according to the RA Ministry of  Finance, the Crossroads of Peace project will cost about $400-500  million).

On October 26, speaking in the capital of Georgia, Prime Minister of  Armenia Nikol Pashinyan said that the government of the republic has  developed and presents the "Crossroads of Peace" project as an  important part of the peace agenda. The main purpose of this project  is to develop communication between Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and  the Islamic Republic of Iran through the repair, construction and  operation of roads, railways, pipelines, cables, power lines.

"The railways passing through the south and north of Armenia have not  been functioning at the regional level for thirty years, numerous  highways connecting the East and West are not functioning, while the  resumption of operation of these roads would be short and efficient,  for both railway and road route connecting the Caspian Sea with the  Mediterranean.

In the same way, these railway and road communications can become an  effective route to connect the Persian Gulf with the Black Sea,  including Georgian ports. This project will bring great benefits to  all countries in our region, and I want to draw the attention of  governments and private investors to this opportunity," said the head  of the Armenian government. 

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