Russia readying to stop servicing Armenian Railways

Russia readying to stop servicing Armenian Railways

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russian fully state-owned railway company Russian Railways (RZhD) is preparing to break the agreement with the Armenian authorities, claiming that they are blocking the operation of its subsidiary, the South Caucasus Railway, which manages the Armenian railways.

The information was first reported by RTVI, which cited a source familiar with the matter, and was later confirmed in the Ministry of Transport of Russia.

Relations between Russian Railways and the Armenian authorities escalated due to searches and criminal cases against the South Caucasus Railway.

“Armenia has created a situation in which the South Caucasus Railway cannot work normally: all documents of the past 10 years have been seized, unproven charges have been brought and no guarantees have been given," said Russia's Deputy Minister of Transport Vladimir Tokarev.

In a conversation fo PanARMENIAN.Net the spokesman for the South Caucasus Railway, Ruben Grdzelyan, did not comment on the future of the company.

"I can’t comment on this issue, I can only say that the South Caucasus Railway is operating normally. I cannot add more to the story," said Grdzelyan.

On 13 February 2008, the Armenian government signed an agreement to transfer 100% of the state-owned Armenian Railways to Russian Railways.

Under the agreement, the concession period was 30 years, with a possible extension for another 10 years by mutual agreement of the parties.

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