Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a very important project. The advantage of this project to our region is that it connects East and West. The remarks came from the Georgian Ambassador to the United States David Bakradze in an interview with CBC.
“This project will shorten cargo transportation by 15 days and shorten the distance to 6,500 km. At the first stage, this railway project will capable of transporting 1 million people and after 10-12 years this figure will increase three times. Both Georgia and Azerbaijan and even the region will benefit from this project,” he added.
Touching upon the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor project, the ambassador noted that this project will play a major role in terms of diversification of sources in Europe.
“TAP and TANAP will provide the European market with a great deal of energy. This project also provides energy security of Europe. Georgia and Azerbaijan play an important role in this guarantee. The new pipeline is very important for the Georgian economy,” Bakradze stressed.
The Southern Gas Corridor, worth $41.5 billion, is one of the priority energy projects for the EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey. At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage. As part of the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz development, the gas will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline and Trans Adriatic Pipeline.
The Georgian Ambassador also spoke about his country’s integration to the European Union and NATO. He said that his country attaches great importance to this integration and Georgia continues to provide assistance to NATO peacekeeping operations.
According to the ambassador, Georgia attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with Azerbaijan and development of mutually beneficial relations with Baku in all strategically important spheres is one of the important aspects of Tbilisi's foreign policy. “Azerbaijan and Turkey are Georgia's closest strategic partners in the region. Azerbaijan is very important for Georgia not only in terms of huge oil and gas projects, but also in transport cooperation,” David Bakradze underscored.