Heavy snowfall and the danger of avalanches caused serious problems to the movement of traffic in the South Caucasus over the weekend.
The strategic Lars-Stepantsminda highway, difficult to navigate at the best of times, was completely closed by the Georgian authorities on Saturday afternoon due to danger of avalanches. The highway. leading to the Lars crossing point with Russia, is the main land connection between Russia and Georgia and Armenia. Georgian authorities informed their Armenian counterparts on Saturday afternoon (18 March) that the road was closed to all traffic.
Snowfalls also caused havoc on Armenian roads on Saturday, with the closure of the strategic Vardenyats Pass. The situation improved by Monday morning as a result of clearing operations. However the Berd-Chambarak highway was closed on Monday morning due to a heavy snowstorm and ice on the road. A clearing operation is ongoing, according to Armenians sources.
In Azerbaijan rainfall has dampened the atmosphere as the country celebrtaes the Nowruz holiday marking the start of spring.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: The Lars Crossing point connects Russia with Georgia and Armenia. The Lars Stepanasminda highway leading to it is difficult to navigate in the best of times, but on Saturday was closed completely due to the danger of avalanches (archive picture).
"Armenia will focus on the expansion of economic cooperation in the BSEC region, and will promote the agenda through existing mechanisms in the upcoming six months", Foreign Minister Nalbandian told the organisation's Ministerial Council at its meeting in Kiev.