Now that separatist Abkhazia had been tied to Russia through an essentially federal pact, setting up a train link to the rest of Georgia may be the next stop in Vladimir Putin’s plan for cementing Russian hegemony over the region.
“Together with other partners and with everyone’s consent, we believe it is possible to start thinking about such projects as railway transit to Sokhumi, Tbilisi and further down, to Armenia from one end, and Russia, at the other,” said Russian President Putin as he and Abkhazia’s separatist leader, Raul Khadjimba, on November 24 signed a controversial agreement on Alliance and Strategic Partnership.
Strictly from a pragmatic point of view, in theory, everyone along the route could potentially benefit from it, including Georgian exporters. Landlocked, semi-blockaded Armenia would benefit the most from such a link to its main trade-partner, Russia.
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