December 04
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It is very important to read point 9 of the statement of November 9, 2020. What Armenia is obliged to do, Armenia is ready to do, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview with Public Television today.

"Are we ready (to open) the road? Yes, we want it very much. We call this project 'Armenian Crossroads.' We show that this is an important issue for us. There has to be agreement on the legal procedures for the use of the roads.

There is agreement in principle that the roads should function within the sovereignty of the states through which they pass. There should be border control and customs control at the border. There is also the disclosure of mechanisms, that is, how passport control and customs control should be conducted. With regard to all of this, Azerbaijan has no objections at the working level.

But there are subtleties. Azerbaijan says that since there is an acute conflict situation, we do not want a citizen of Azerbaijan to meet with the Armenian border guards and Armenian customs officers when crossing the Armenian border.

We say that when crossing the border, we do not want an Armenian citizen to meet with an Azerbaijani border guard and customs officer. But how to solve this issue? We believe that, as in the case of the Iranian border, there may also be Russian border guards standing here. But will there be Russian border guards on the Azerbaijani side as well? If there are Azeri border guards standing there, that would be a violation of the principle.

We propose a solution whereby the sides could delegate these functions to specialized organizations, and they would perform this function. The same can be done in the case of border control. If Azerbaijan is ready, we are ready to go to this solution.

Can it be that visas are not put in a passport? We can introduce a system of checks to be presented at border crossings.

There is agreement that there should be a travel fee paid. There is discussion about whether or not an environmental tax would also be paid? There is also a difference in terms. Should there be goods whose transit should be prohibited? Yes, there should be such goods. How should a list of these goods be compiled? And how should inspections be conducted?

These are all subtleties. What Overchuk says, we agree with that. According to the trilateral statement, the control of transport communication should be carried out by the bodies of the Border Service of the Federal Security Service of Russia.

What does it mean? It means that at the initial stage the movement should be conducted in an organized convoy. Who should ensure security in the territory of Armenia? Naturally, the relevant services of Armenia. But it would be correct, based on the trilateral statements, to have the representatives of the Border Guard Service of Russia in the column in case of problems. Here, too, we are ready to be flexible and make decisions.

We have never put any restrictions on the routes. If we consider it our project, we should be interested in the shortest and most effective route, so that international transport flow would start on that road, so that Armenia would have big income from those transit flows.

In what case will Armenia have more income? When the cargo transportation by this road, including the railroad, will be big. This is possible if the route is short, safe and the flows are not restricted by weather conditions. We are interested in all these components to open regional communications," Pashinyan noted.

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