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Georgia and Russia: Profitable politics2012-11-23 18:45
Black Sea region, according to analysts, in the coming years becomes the second largest hotbed of the economic development in the world after East Asia. It is almost perfect in terms of international logistics. However, for this it's necessary to establish road and rail links between the countries of the region, including Georgia and Russia. Is this possible given their political ambitions?
Black Sea, deep in the Eurasian continent, allows performing large sea shipping between ports of the surrounding countries and ports in other parts of the world. Economic activity in all Black Sea countries is shifting closer to this sea, starting from the development of the Sochi region and to the transfer of the parliamentary capital of Georgia in Kutaisi, as well as the project of the Georgian port city of Lazika.
Successful development of the Black Sea region in terms of its integration into the world economy requires two components: a complete transport infrastructure (road and rail) and deep-sea commercial ports. Paradox, but the Black Sea region has these both problems. Because of the new borders the existing roads and railways have been partially blocked by customs barriers, and somewhere in the Caucasus - by the line of armed confrontation.
But in early 2012, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the International Road Transport Union and the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank approved the Black Sea Ring Road (BSRR). The road will pass through the BSEC member states, adjacent or in close proximity to the Black Sea (Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova), with branches in other countries of the BSEC, not bordering with the Black Sea (Greece, Albania, Serbia, Armenia and Azerbaijan). BSRR allows reducing transportation costs for freight transport at least half full. Railway communication around the Black Sea is being developed. Within this project the construction of this railway through Abkhazia is almost inevitable.
Politics and geopolitics of the Black Sea region is beginning to "adjust" for investment projects. BSEC Secretary General Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos noted that within the organization has completed negotiations on container shipments between previously irreconcilable Armenia and Turkey. Armenian containers will be allowed to pass through the territory of Turkey.
Until recently, many people considered impossible connection between Russia and Georgia by a modern highway, and even passing through Abkhazia. But at first Russia and Georgia agreed on contentious issues on Russia's accession into the WTO, when the political conflict between the two countries was beautifully resolved. Disputed territories (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) have been called "corridor".
Basically, Georgia and Russia have passed times when you can easily turn a blind eye to political conflicts, implementing economic interests. So if the conflicting parties could find common ground on issues not entirely related to legal business, they can do this when we are talking about projects that promise completely legal dividends.
New government of Bidzina Ivanishvili came to power in Georgia. It has already taken the initiative to resume through rail and road links between Russia and Georgia on the Black Sea coast through Abkhazia. Given the fact that in anticipation of the Sochi Olympics 2014 Russia is interested in such development, settlement of political formalities is likely to take pretty time.