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Soyak : Integration, CoExistence, Interdependence

Another dimension of normalization of the relations between Turkey & Armenia

Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is another aspect to be considered when we look through the recent developments. In 2013, as the BRI was announced in Kazakhstan, the Kremlin looked on with uncertainty and in some degree, of suspicion. But, as Russia’s relations with the West deteriorated in 2014 to the point of Western sanctions on Russia, Moscow began seeking ways to boost its partnership with Beijing and turn its relationship with China into an alternative to its relationship with West. Starting from 2015, Russia shifted its policy and started to use the BRI and other Chinese-originated projects to help develop economy and infrastructure of Russia and its influential areas, including South Caucasus.
Geographical position of Azerbaijan on the Caspian shores and Armenia neighboring Turkey, is very attractive for linking Eurasia’s two economic powerhouses: the European Union and East Asia.
The connectivity dimension of the BRI, which promotes land-based transportation lines between Europe and China, is naturally aligned with unlocking the transit potential in Caucasia.
Due to present situation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine which resulted in severe sanctions imposed on Russia,  Once more shows the importance of alternative routes through South Caucasus – Turkey Axis en route from China to the EU’s doorstep, Turkey. All transit routes including Telecommunication, Energy, Transportation could have an access/Exit through Akhuryan Gyumri (Armenia) – Dogukapi Kars ( Turkey) railway which stands in very good shape even during the closed border years, and Alican ( Igdir- Turkey) and Malkara ( Gyumri-Armenia) border points.

Armenia, having been excluded from Regional and Multinational projects for over three decades, now should be involved into economic relations and regional integration with the neighboring countries, Turkey and Azerbaijan,” Soyak said.

“Armenia is located in the center of energy, telecommunication and transportation crossroads between Asia, Central Asia (Caspian basin) and the EU. All the interested parties are after those crossroad advantages,” he said. ​​​​​​​

In December 2021, The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, after hosting President Aliyev and Prime Minister Pashinyan in Brussels, also emphasized the importance of restoring communications infrastructure between Armenia and Azerbaijan in particular and the South Caucasus more broadly, while fully respecting the sovereignty of all countries. It was agreed to proceed with the restoration of railway lines, with appropriate arrangements for border and customs controls, based on the principle of reciprocity. The EU is ready to support the development of connectivity links, in line with its Economic and Investment Plan.

It goes without saying that these opportunities, projections are only possible with peaceful coexistence and build up economic cooperation in the region. 


#infrastructure #europeanunion#TurkeyArmenia #Caucasus

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