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Tbilisi aims a blow at the corridor system2010-08-24 14:50
Georgian government and International Transport Union have signed a memorandum on mutual understanding and cooperation implying the development of the state as an international transport corridor between Europe and Asia. Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said he thinks it possible to increase competitiveness and attract a large volume of freights from Russian and Iranian corridors.
"That is a very important project demanding additional efforts to ensure the attractiveness of our transport corridor and we are going to work on it together with our Azerbaijani colleagues", - Nika Gilauri underlined.
Naturally, Azerbaijan and Turkey's participation would be a sound support for Georgia in realization of its grand plans; Tbilisi is going to use these countries to influence the Near East and Russian Federation, with which it has developed rather complicated relationship.
Georgia has been working on Russia-competing projects for a long time. Presently, its foreign policy is mostly aimed at comprising as many transport corridors as possible: the gas, oil, sea and railway ones. As the proverb goes, the scamp has a finger in every pie. However, the joint project with Azerbaijan is being widely realized at the moment, and there is an impression that the Georgian government has stuck with its dreams about confederative relationship with Baku.
Besides, the experts are not likely to support the single-vector policy of Georgia, which is developing relationship with Azerbaijan and has saturated itself in the Tbilisi-Baku-Ceyhan railway project. They believe the full-scale partnership might become more productive for all the interested parties.
- There are two powerful sea ports in the Georgian territory, Batumi and Poti. They serve to deliver a lot of goods transported by sea to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Central Asia through the Caspian Sea. That is why, I believe this project, "Georgia as an international transport corridor", to have its own ambitions and a chance to be realized. For example, the Verkhny Lars checkpoint at the Russian frontier has been opened, and that is another opportunity to realize this kind of project. This is not a civil checkpoint but it allows delivering many goods to Armenia and Iran. These projects are in use and are likely to grow. Naturally, they contribute to the external turnover increase. Georgia is becoming a serious transport hub, I would say, a transport distributor, - says conflict analyst and member of Republican Party Paata Zakareishvili. Georgia is becoming everything now, indeed.