The head of Azerbaijani Railways, Javid Gurbanov has told reporters that Russian metallurgical companies have shown a keen interest in making use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway. Mr Gurbanov was speaking after meetings with Russian metallurgical companies in Moscow, at which various forms of cooperation were discussed.
“Around 70,000 tons of Russian metallurgical products are already being shipped from Russia to Turkey every month,” said Mr Gurbanov. “Russia is also interested in transporting timber through the BTK, as well as shipping food products in the opposite direction.”
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was officially opened at the Baku International Sea Trade Port in October 2017. It was built as part of a joint Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish interstate agreement. At the initial stage, the volume of cargo will be around 6.5 million tons per year, with up to one million passengers also using the railway.
The BTK railway construction project included the construction of the 98km long Kars-Akhalkalaki railway, 68km of which are in Turkey, 30 km in Azerbaijan, and the reconstruction of a 183km section from Akhalkalaki to Tbilisi in Georgia. The construction of the Georgian part was financed by Azerbaijan, which allocated two concessional loans to Georgia totalling 775 US million.