Rehabilitation of the railways in the South Caucasus, Vol. 1: Sochi-Sukhum/i-Tbilisi-Yerevan railway

This report assesses the potential costs and benefits of rehabilitating the South Caucasus railways, in particular the Sochi-Sukhum/i-Tbilisi-Yerevan railway.

Transportation links in the South Caucasus have been physically and politically disrupted as a result of the protracted conflicts that broke out in the early 1990s and which continue to remain a source of instability, jeopardising the socio-economic development of the whole region.

The prospects for restoring transport links in the region are not considered by the conflicting and potentially interested parties from a commercial or economic perspective. Rather, they view it primarily through the prism of security and as a chance to strengthen their position in the conflict, or at least to weaken the political position of the opposite side. Due to the absence of economic calculations, myths have emerged supporting this or that political line.

Traditionally, the process of resolving protracted armed conflicts has been dominated by political and security concerns. Strong arguments are needed to broaden the agenda for talks. Particularly in terms of proving the importance of economic interaction as a specific sphere of peacebuilding.

This is the first volume in a two-part series.

Related publication

Rehabilitation of the railways in the South Caucasus, Vol. 2: Kars-Gyumri-Nakhchivan-Meghri-Baku railway