The restoration of transport links between Armenia and Azerbaijan is envisaged by the Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement that stopped the war in Nagorno-Karabakh on November 10.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian decided to set up a trilateral “working group” for that purpose when they met in Moscow on January 11. They said it will submit by March 1 a timetable of “measures envisaging the restoration and construction of new transport infrastructure facilities.”
The group co-headed by deputy prime ministers of the three states held its first meeting in the Russian capital on Saturday. A Russian government statement said it decided to form two “expert subgroups” that will deal with transport issues and border controls.
The truce agreement specifically commits Yerevan to opening rail and road links between the Nakhichevan exclave and the rest of Azerbaijan that will presumably pass through southeastern Armenia. Armenia should be able, for its part, to use Azerbaijani territory as a transit route for cargo shipments to and from Russia and Iran.
Visiting Yerevan last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country looks forward to establishing a rail link with Armenia.