The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway will have a positive impact on developing new transport routes between Central Asia, Caspian and Black Sea regions, Ambassador of Romania to Azerbaijan Dan Iancu said in an interview with Trend.
"It is important to stress that Romania and Azerbaijan share the same interests when it comes to projects with strategic relevance such as the East-West transportation corridors," said the diplomat.
Iancu noted that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is of prime relevance not only for Azerbaijan, but for the region as well: it is a critical link on the East-West corridor, and an important contribution to strengthening the regional connectivity.
"The railway will have a positive impact on developing new transport routes between the Central Asia, Caspian and Black Sea regions – which are relevant also for my country. For these very purposes of improving the transportation links between these regions, Romania has proposed the development of a Caspian Sea-Black Sea Transportation Corridor – which basically represents the extension across the Black Sea of the East-West corridors," he said.
The official opening ceremony of the BTK railway was held in Baku Oct. 30 last year. The BTK railway was constructed on the basis a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The railway’s peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At an initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.
East – West or Trans Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) is designed for freight traffic growth both from China to EU countries / Turkey and in the opposite direction. Management and development of the transport route is carried out by the consortium created by the participating countries. Member countries involved in consortium and their representatives are: China (Chinese Railways), Kazakhstan (KTZ Express), Caspian Sea (Caspian Shipping Company), Azerbaijan (ADY Express) and Georgia (Trans Caucasus Terminals).