YEREVAN, August 21. /ARKA/. More than 50 motor vehicles are standing trapped by landslide at Upper Lars border checkpoint, Armenian Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Arthur Arakelyan told journalists on Thursday.
The way was closed yesterday at 22:30. “Things remain complicated, since there is a threat of repeated landslides,” he said. “Georgia is now carrying out a large-scale work to clean the road and preliminary reports pointing out particular period of time needed for putting things right will be released soon.”
The deputy minister stressed that although the landslide-stricken section of the road in the neighboring country’s territory, it is very important for Armenia’s freight traffic.
“The Georgian authorities have worked out a three-year program for recovery and modernization of this section and we are satisfied with it – Georgian partners are quite adequate in dealing with the problem,” Arakelyan said.
Armenian Emergency Minister Armen Yeritsyan said at a Cabinet session that the landslide has also damaged the gas pipeline, and natural gas supply to Armenia has been interrupted.
“Now traffic on this section of the road is ceased, but we’ll do whatever necessary to have our gas supply resumed very soon,” he said.
He also aid that Armenia has offered its help to Georgia, but the latter refused the assistance saying it will manage to handle the problems by its own efforts.
As Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said, it is very important to specify the period of time needed for resuming the traffic.
He also said the matter will be discussed with the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who is in Armenian now.
“We faced similar difficulties also a couple of months ago, since the road remained closed for a long time, and this had adverse impacts on the economy,” Abrahamyan said. “Therefore, we should make every effort to have this road section opened very soon.” --0----