(MENAFN - AzerNews) By
The opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is a major step in transport interconnections linking the European Union, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Central Asia, EU said in a statement.
'The European Union welcomes the new rail corridor which, coupled with investments, improved infrastructure and logistics coordination will provide better connectivity, new business opportunities and increased trade. This is at the heart of its Eastern Partnership as well as of its Central Asia strategy, said the EU.
The European Union has always supported projects aiming at improving connectivity with its neighbouring partner countries, according to the statement.
'With further improvements of transport links between Turkey and Bulgaria as well as between Azerbaijan and Central Asia, this project will provide fast and reliable land connection between Europe and Asia along the ancient Silk Route. We are also supporting the Southern Gas Corridor which will provide similar energy interconnection, said the EU.
The BTK railway was constructed on the basis a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. The railway's peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At an initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.