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The complete opening of the Transcaucasian Highway (from Georgia to Russia via South Ossetia) can be tried by Armenian cargo trucks.

Ossetian logistic operator, General Director of TIS Logistic Center (Vladikavkaz) Vakhtang Jigkayev told the aforementioned to Armenian News –

The opening of the southern section of Transkam (from Gori to Tskhinvali) can first and foremost contribute to the business activity in Northern Ossetia (currently, Republic of Alania), he said.

Two consecutive conferences on transport corridors Russia-Iran and Russia-Turkey were held in Vladikavkaz in 2014-2015. The Iranian representatives then confirmed the wish to increase the car transit by ten times. But they noted that this requires facilitating the customs procedures and traffic capacity of Upper Lars (Georgian Military Road) customs check point. But, unfortunately, its general condition, route and quality of tunnels don't allow to significantly increase the transit. The road demands very serious investments, mainly from the Georgian side, which is not supposed in the long run, Jigkayev noted.

In this situation, the opening of a parallel road by Transkam (Military Ossetian Road) seems to be very promising, and not only due to transit payments, but also because of the prospects for opening logistic complexes and building national industry of transportations, as well as creating a service complex (road, technical, legal) for the given transit. According to Jigkayev, all this can seriously contribute to the business activity.

''We have no oil and gas but by a twist of fate the Ossetians ''straddled'' two main roads via Greater Caucasus: the Georgian Military and Ossetian Military roads. This is the shortest motor road from Russia to Transcaucasia, Turkey, Iran...Definitely, we have a chance to become part of the North-South geo-economic highway,'' the businessman noted.

But, in his words, the devil is, as always, in the detail, the greatest problem being the insurance of the legal framework of the transit. Many good ideas have come to nothing due to this issue, he added.

The overcoming of the legal collision with the status of South Ossetia requires intensive consultations. If Georgia completely leaves out South Ossetia from the process, nothing will, of course, come out of this. And conversely, if South Ossetia wants to be a fully sovereign state in this process, common language will not be found either, the Ossetian operator noted.

Issues remain even if instead of customs officers the cargo is checked by neutral Swiss inspection company SGS at the border.

''Ok, SGS will make marks on the cargo... But what about the customs in the territory of South Ossetia? What about the payments? Can our cars take part in the transit? Can the cars in South Ossetian warehouses be overloaded for cargo consolidation? What marks will be put on the documents? A bunch of questions, which demand work... What can be done in this situation? I would offer to try a certain test regime. For instance, start with the transit of Armenian cargo trucks: it is no secret that this is the most painful issue...Let's think about a regime, which will allow the Armenian trucks move by the territory of South Ossetia. Let's test it, smooth out all the rough edges and then this experience can be extrapolated to all the rest,'' the entrepreneur said.

During the talks held in Prague on July 10, Russian and Georgia representatives agreed on the launch of implementing the Agreement on Trade Corridors. 

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