By Emil Danielyan
The Armenian government complained to the European Union on Friday over Turkey’s refusal to reopen transport communication with Armenia as part of the EU’s TRACECA project to revive the ancient Silk Road.
Turkey was last year included in the project aimed at building new trade routes linking Europe to Central Asia via the Caucasus. One of those routes is due to run cross its territory.
The Armenian foreign ministry said Ankara has announced that it will exclude Armenia from the arrangement and will not ease its 10-year economic blockade. “By caving in to pressure from Azerbaijan Turkey has once again violated the spirit and letter of international norms,” the ministry said in a statement. The Turkish refusal will also “impede the implementation of regional programs sponsored by the EU,” it added.
Both Turkey and Azerbaijan, which share strong ethnic and cultural links, refuse to engage in commercial links with Armenia until the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Baku made it clear during the launch of TRACECA in the late 1990s that it will not be bound by any agreement providing for the reopening of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.