="justify">While providing coverage of these ceremonies, newspapers and T.V. channels displayed maps of the line passing through the three countries in question. It is known by all that the shortest distance connecting two points is a straight line. However, as can be seen from the maps, the pipeline is far from running along a straight line. The pipeline firstly runs north, then south towards Ceyhan. This peculiar situation stems from how the pipeline does not cross through Armenia.
Turkey and Azerbaijan did not view the passage of this pipeline through Armenia as being appropriate due to security concerns, although it would have resulted in the line being 400 kilometers shorter. It is the case that Armenia is directing genocide allegations against Turkey and is refraining from recognizing its borders with Turkey. On the other hand, it has occupied Karabakh which belongs to Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani provinces surrounding it. The Armenian occupation has caused approximately 1 million Azerbaijanis to take refuge in Azerbaijan under miserable conditions. As such, there was no reason for Turkey and Azerbaijan to reward Armenia by favoring the passage of the pipeline through this country. Despite the persistent attempts of Armenia backed by certain members of the U.S. Congress to frustrate its materialization, the BTC pipeline was nonetheless completed as a result of the determination of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia alongside the support received from the US governments in this regard.
For the reasons stated above, the pipeline which shall carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to Erzurum, expected to be completed by the end of this year, is not to pass through Armenia as well.
Due to security concerns analogous to those mentioned with respect to the petroleum and gas pipelines referred to above, Turkey has not utilized the railway connecting Kars to the Armenian city of Gyumri and has instead proposed the construction of a railway connecting Kars to the city of Ahalkelek in Georgia. The construction of the latter route, which Georgia and Azerbaijan have approved of, is expected to begin as of next year. Armenia is trying to thwart the construction of this line by way of the devices of its allies in the U.S. Congress. To this end, it has handed a draft proposal for a bill to the Congress hindering funds from being expended for the realization of this railway project. For reasons unknown, the EU Commission has also opposed this railway line. However, for its realization there is no need for the approval of neither the U.S. nor the EU. The necessary 400 million U.S. dollars can easily be appropriated. In fact, Turkey can allocate this sum on its own without incurring much difficulty. As Ilham Aliyev, Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Erdogan have reiterated their determination vis-a-vis the construction of this line, during the inauguration ceremonies of the BTC pipeline, it is to be expected that Turkey shall be connected to Georgia via this railway in the near future.
In short, the transportation projects for energy resources in this region will be highly beneficial for Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. On the other hand, Armenia is at a loss as it has been left out of these projects. Armenia is solely responsible for this outcome having precluded the establishment of an environment of stability and security in this region as a result of its occupation of Karabakh (as well as other Azerbaijani territories), propagation of genocide allegations and the repudiation of Turkey’s borders.