YEREVAN, December 18. / ARKA /. A Russian political expert told an international conference in Yerevan today that Russia and Armenia would have soon a ‘direct’ border.
According to Mikhail Chernov, deputy director of the Center of Strategic Situations, when Armenia announced its decision to join the Customs Union, many people questioned its ability to function as a full member of the trade bloc because of absence of common border with any of its members.
However, according to Chernov, this should not worry Armenians because the current situation would change soon.
“There will be direct border between Russia and Armenia and it is a matter of the near future. Russia will be linked directly to Armenia by means of transport and infrastructure facilities,’ he said, elaborating.
that this would be achieved through development of Trans-Caucasus transport corridors, which were started back by the Russian Empire and improved by the Soviet Union.
"The main highway that will link the North Caucasus and West Kazakhstan with the South Caucasus is the Trans-Caucasian Highway. Now there is a motor road connecting Russian Vladikavkaz with South Ossetia’s Tskhinvali and stretching further to Armenia. This road should be upgraded for all types of cargo, including heavy combat military machines,” he said, according to Novosti Armenia news agency.
He went on to say that a just solution to the South Ossetian issue would enable Russia a direct access to the South Caucasus, including Armenia. Chernov added that although South Ossetia is recognized by Russia as an independent state, there are big questions regarding its borders.
He said the rights of 30,000 South Ossetians driven out from Trialeti, a region bordering the predominantly Armenian-populated Javakheti province in South Georgia, should be restored. According to him, this applies also to Kazbegi region of Georgia, through which the Georgian Military Road runs. The changing of Ossetia’s border is related to development of transport infrastructure, he added.
Thus, he said, Russia would have a direct access to South Caucasus countries, including Armenia. Chernov underlined that neither of Russian transport projects involve military scenarios. -0-