Transport and Logistic Situation in the South Caucasus: Railway Wars

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-7-93-100

V. Davtyan (,
Russian-Armenian University (RAU), 123, Hovsep Emin Str., 0051, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia 

Abstract. The railway systems of four South Caucasian countries – Armenia, Georgia, Abkhazia and Azerbaijan – are analyzed. The political issues that prevent the full integration of abovementioned countries into major transport projects across the territory of the South Caucasus are identified. In this context, a special attention is paid to the level of involvement of the South Caucasian republics in two major transport projects competing to each other – the international transport corridor (ITC) Europe–Caucasus–Asia (TRACECA) supported by EU and ITC “North-South” supported by Russia. In this regard, the main problems and specifics of some regional projects considered to be the integral part of international transport corridors are studied: some of them are railways Baku–Tbilisi–Akhalkalaki–Kars (Azerbaijan–Georgia–Turkey), Gyumri–Kars (Armenia-Turkey), Sochi–Sukhumi–Tbilisi–Yerevan (Russia–Abkhazia–Georgia–Armenia), Qazvin–Rasht–Astara (Iran–Azerbaijan), Iran–Armenia and others. It is figured out that military-political and ethnic conflicts in the South Caucasus continue to hinder the implementation of major communication projects capable to perform a key integration role in the region. Moreover, these conflicts directly affect the economic efficiency of abovementioned projects. As a result, the main transport corridors projected through the territory of South Caucasus are forced to bypass around certain areas despite the fact that the passage through those areas would be most effective both technically and economically. 

Keywords: South Caucasus, transport and logistics, railway strategy, TRACECA, ITC “North-South”, regional conflicts, Russia 


1. Yakunin V.I. Politologiya transporta. Politicheskoe izmerenie transportnogo razvitiya [Politology of Transport. A Political Dimension of Transport Development]. Moscow, Ekonomika Publ., 2006. 432 p.

2. Tsvetkov V.A., Zoidov K.Kh., Medkov A.A. Problemy integratsii i innovatsionnogo razvitiya transportnykh sistem Rossii i stran Yuzhnogo Kavkaza [Problems of Integration and Innovative Development of Transport Systems in Russia and South Caucasus Countries]. Moscow, CEMI RAN, 2011. 197 p.

3. Euro-Asian Transport Connections (Stage 2). Expert Group Report (In Russ.)]. New York, Geneva, UN, 2012. 672 p.

4. Tariff Policy of Railways of CIS Member States on the Carriage of Goods in International Traffic for 2008 Freight Year (In Russ.)]. Odessa, October 26, 2007. Available at: (accessed 11.01.2017).

5. Grinevetskii S.R., Zhil’tsov S.S., Zonn I.S. Chernomorskii uzel [Black Sea Node]. Moscow, Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2007. 200 p.

6. Zhil’tsov S.S., Zonn I.S., Ushkov A.M. Geopolitika Kaspiiskogo regiona [Geopolitics of Caspian Region]. Moscow, Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2003. 280 p.

7. Shevardnadze E. Moi vybor. V zashchitu demokratii i svobody [My Choice. In Defense of Democracy and Freedom]. Moscow, Novosti Publ., 1991. 368 p.

8. Liparteliani G. OChJeS: problemy stanovleniya i osnovnye protivorechiya [BSEC: Problems of Formation and Main Contradictions]. Vlast’, 2012, no. 5, pp. 155-157.

9. Business Plan for the Establishment of the International Logistics Center on the Akhuryan Railway Station of South-Caucasian Railway (In Russ.). Saint-Petersburg, 2009 (on archive materials of CJSC “SCR”).

10. Minasyan S. Situatsiya v Dzhavakhke v kontekste problemy vyvoda rossiiskikh voennykh baz iz Gruzii [Situation in Javakhk in the Context of Withdrawal of Russian Military Bases from Georgia]. 21-i vek, 2005, no. 1, pp. 27-78.

11. Restoration of the Railways in the South Caucasus: Assessment of the Potential Economic Impact. International Alert, 2013. 48 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 22.12.2016).

12. Abkhazia: Deepening Dependence. International Crisis Group Report (In Russ.) February 26, 2010, no. 202, 34 p. Available at: (accessed 28.12.2016).

13. Baku Declaration Adopted in September 1998 in Baku. New York, UN General Assembly. 53rd Session, document no. A/C.2/53/4 (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 28.12.2016).

14. Logistics Processes and Motorways of the Sea II. Characteristics of Projects: Georgia. Report of Egis International and Dornier Consulting. May 2012. 16 p. (In Russ.) Available at: (accessed 15.12.2016).

15. Vardomskii L.B., Pylin A.G., Sokolova T.V. Strany Yuzhnogo Kavkaza: osobennosti razvitiya i regional’nogo vzaimodeistviya [South Caucasus Countries: Features of Development and Regional Cooperation]. Moscow, Institut ekonomiki RAN, 2014. 72 p. 

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Davtyan V. Transport and Logistic Situation in the South Caucasus: Railway Wars. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 7, pp. 93-100.

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 4
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Financial Contagion Propagation in Europe under the Impact of Global Shocks
  • Regional Powers on the African Continent: Trends and Prospects
  • Investment Activity of the PRC in the Kyrgyz Republic
  • “Land Grabbing” Concept: Global and National Aspects
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.