Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey launch new railroad linking to Europe and China, bypassing Russia

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey held an official event to open a new railroad, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars line. The new route passes through the three countries and provides passenger and freight railroad transit between Europe and China surpassing Russia and Armenia.

The opening event took place in Alat, Azerbaijan, a village in a remote part of the Baku capital suburb, 70 kilometers southeast of the city. The ceremony was attended by top leaders of Azerbaijan and Turkey and the prime ministers of Georgia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Radio of Liberty reports.

In a speech delivered at the ceremony, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev described the 826-kilometer railroad as “the shortest and the most reliable commute between Asia and Europe.”

President Aliyev said Kazakhstan and other Middle East countries already expressed interest in transporting their freight via the new route.

The construction of the project started in 2007 but had to be delayed several times. It missed the initial deadline in 2011. The cost of the project exceeded USD 1 billion with most of the money coming from the state-controlled oil fund of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are already linked together by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline.

  Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, China, Russia