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 Wednesday, February 28 2024 17:59
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Unfortunately, work aimed at opening communications in South Caucasus  has now been suspended due to Armenian partners` position - Zakharova

Unfortunately, work aimed at opening communications in South Caucasus  has now been suspended due to Armenian partners` position - Zakharova

ArmInfo.Unfortunately, work aimed at opening communications in the South Caucasus has now been suspended due to the position of the Armenian partners. Spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova stated on February 28 during a weekly briefing, answering a question about  opening regional communications.

"We know that the Armenian authorities declared their readiness to  open regional communications on the basis of sovereignty and  jurisdiction within the framework of equality and reciprocity.  Azerbaijan, in fact, did not refuse such an approach (Baku demands an  extraterritorial corridor through the territory of Armenia, ed.  note). This topic was previously discussed in detail in the format of  a tripartite working group co-chaired by the vice prime ministers of  Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Unfortunately, this work has now been  suspended due to the position of our Armenian partners," noted a  representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Regarding the point about the control of the Meghri route by Russian  border guards, Zakharova noted that this point is logical both in  terms of the optimal organization of the route and from an economic  point of view.

"Russian border guards are already deployed in the south of Armenia,  in the Syunik region. They protect the border between Armenia and  Iran," the diplomat emphasized.

Speaking about the "Crossroads of Peace" project presented by the  Armenian government, Zakharova noted that they do not consider it an  alternative to the Meghri or other route.  "Rather, this is a broader  view of the future of regional and subregional communications. On the  sidelines of the 22nd session of the Russian-Armenian  intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation - it took place  on December 15, 2023 in Yerevan, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey  Overchuk expressed support for the project and noted the Russian  contribution to its implementation," said a representative of the  Russian Foreign Ministry.

Commenting on the question that extra-regional players do not want  the 9th point of the tripartite statement to be implemented,  Zakharova noted that the reluctance of extra-regional players to help  open regional communications in the South Caucasus are based solely  on political expediency considerations.  "They are not interested in  increasing the interconnectedness of Armenia and Azerbaijan with each  other, with their neighbors. They seek to tear the region into  pieces, present themselves, their interests, without necessarily  thinking about the interests of others, and thus, aggravate the  contradictions between countries," she noted. 

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 provided for by the agreements that ended  the 44-day Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh in the fall of  2020.

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