(Eurasianet) Armenia and Azerbaijan compete to attract Iranian cargo – Iran has been a fairly marginal player in the South Caucasus, but both Armenia and Azerbaijan are competing to draw it into the region.
Last year, Georgia and Russia signed an agreement to re-open those roads as “trade corridors” – with cargo monitored by a third party, the Swiss SGS company – after years of negotiations between Tbilisi and Moscow brokered bySwitzerland.
The trade could be mutually beneficial: The Islamic Republic has long expressed interest in expanding trade links to Russia via the EEU, and Iran offers just one of two borders left open to Armenia after Turkey and Azerbaijan closed their respective frontiers following the war over Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s.
[…] But prospects for Armenian involvement may be limited in the short-term.
“The Georgian government seems positive about the deal,” said Kornely Kakachia, director of the Georgian Institute of Politics. “But it won’t help Armenia’s plans for a transit corridor without major concessions from Moscow on the status of the breakaway regions.”
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