Construction of alternative road Tatev-Aghavni in Syunik almost completed- deputy prime minister

Posted on October. 29. 2021

YEREVAN, /ARKA/. Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister Suren Papikyan in an interview with the Public Television spoke about the progress made in the construction of alternative roads in the southern province of Syunik.

After the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone on November 9, 2020, more than 190 settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent seven regions came under the control of Azerbaijan.

As a result, the borders of the Syunik region in the south of Armenia and the Gegharkunik region in the east appeared in close proximity to the Soviet-time border of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani forces have set up a police checkpoint on a section of the road between Goris and Kapan.

The checkpoint is on a section of a strategic road that connects Armenia with Iran. Armenian forces had pulled out of that road section after the end of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh last autumn. Now Azerbaijani forces control a 21-kilometer stretch of the highway. The other sections of the highway, which is Armenia’s sole transport link with Iran are patrolled by Russian soldiers and border guards.

Papikyan told the Public TV that the bulk of the work on the Tatev-Aghvani road has been completed. He said the asphalting has been suspended for a short time for about 1 km long section.

He stressed that the remaining 43 km of the Tatev-Aghvani road have already been completed with two-layer asphalt paving. He said the third layer will be laid in the spring, since now this is hampered by weather conditions.

“This will allow unhindered movement from Kapan towards the M-2 highway and Yerevan. Of course, in winter there will be minor difficulties with trucks on the serpentines of Tatev, but we are also trying to resolve this problem as well,” he said.

Papikyan said that another large road construction project has started – the construction of 18 km of the Tatev-Ltsen road, which will be connected to the M-2 highway without serpentines. The Deputy Prime Minister also said that the government is building roads connecting a number of villages such as Bartsravan, Vorotan, Shurnukh and Chkaten.

“These are quite large road construction projects. The work started a long time ago, and we expect that before winter we will complete the earth part of the work, and in the spring we will start asphalt paving,” he said.

Regarding the North-South highway project, Papikyan said that a tender for the construction of two sections of the highway – Sisian-Kajaran and Kajaran-Agarak – has already been announced. He added that Iranian and other foreign companies can participate in it.

Papikyan stressed that this project includes construction of 2 large tunnels, 14 large bridges and many kilometers of roads. According to him, the total length of the tunnels is about 9 km.

In July 2021, the European Union announced that it will allocate more than 1.5 billion euros to Armenia in the next 5 years for five key programs, including the development of Syunik region.

Specifically, the fourth direction envisages supporting the strengthening of development  in the southern regions of Armenia. 

“Following progress achieved in the northern regions of Armenia, the European Union will invest in strengthening the sustainable socio-economic development of Syunik. Priority areas may include housing, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, education, healthcare, renewable energy, and support for local small and medium-sized businesses, the EU said.

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