Politics, Europe

Azerbaijan accelerates Zangezur corridor construction, opening vital transport routes

Strategic corridor set to connect western Azerbaijan to exclave of Nakhchivan, emerging as key link from China to Türkiye, Russia

Ruslan Rehimov  | 09.01.2024 - Update : 10.01.2024
Azerbaijan accelerates Zangezur corridor construction, opening vital transport routes

BAKU, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is continuing the construction of roads and railways passing through the Zangezur corridor, a route to connect its western regions with its exclave of Nakhchivan and serve as a route for the middle corridor extending from China to Central Asia, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus, and finally Türkiye.

Following the Second Karabakh War, on Nov. 10, 2020, a declaration was signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia agreeing to open land roads and railways between Azerbaijan and the eastern Nakhchivan region, a non-contiguous part of Azerbaijan, with a section of Armenia lying in between the two.

After the war, Azerbaijan began construction of roads and railways extending from its own territories to the Armenian border.

While construction of the railway and road in the Azerbaijani part of the Zangezur corridor is progressing rapidly, Armenia has not taken any steps on the project.

In the absence of an agreement with Armenia, Azerbaijan is also working on alternative routes.

Azerbaijan has reached an agreement with the Iranian government for the construction of roads and railways connecting the country to Nakhchivan through Iran, as Iran’s territory lies nearby, south of the already proposed corridor.

According to agreements signed between the two countries, bridges for both roads and railways will be built over the Aras River – a river that flows through all four countries – providing transportation to Nakhchivan via Iran.

If an agreement is reached with Armenia, Azerbaijan will have two transportation alternatives to Nakhchivan, through either Armenia or Iran.

Anadolu has visualized the construction activities on the Azerbaijani territory extending to Zangezur, as announced by Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu, who stated that Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Iran are working on the corridor.

Turkish companies are actively involved in the construction of the line.

Due to mines laid during a nearly 30-year Armenian occupation that recently ended and challenging terrain conditions, completion of the line is expected by the end of 2024.

More than 80% of road construction is complete

The construction, coordinated by the Azerbaijan Highways State Agency, is being done by Turkish companies.

The road, with some sections having four lanes and others having six, includes 58 underpasses, 27 bridges, and three tunnels.

According to information obtained by Anadolu, more than 80% of the road construction is already complete.

New connection between Turkey and Azerbaijan: Zangezur Corridor

Türkiye and Azerbaijan also have a railway project to connect the Turkish city of Kars to Nakhchivan.

The project, whose tender has been awarded, will start within the year.

Upon the completion of these projects, a new transportation connection will be established between Türkiye and Azerbaijan, countries with very close ties as summed up in the motto: “Two nations, one state.”

At the same time, uninterrupted road and railway communication between Türkiye and Russia through Azerbaijan will be ensured.

*Writing by Alperen Aktas in Istanbul

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