Tag Archives: bagratashen

Simplified procedures, reduced waiting times, modern infrastructure and equipment, improved security – these are only a few of the many advantages that the new border-crossing point (BCP) in Bagratashen will provide to ordinary citizens of Armenia and tourists travelling from Armenia to Georgia.
14937437_1149055855148342_5298925730231118127_nThe official opening of the newly constructed Bagratashen border checkpoint took place on 4 November 2016, attended by a variety of representatives from state border management bodies, international organisations, and members of the diplomatic corps and media. Key attendees included Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, a delegation headed by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation in Armenia Hoa-Binh Adjemian and Head of the Regional Representation of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the South Caucasus Sebastiaen Husson de Sampigny, UN Permanent Coordinator in Armenia and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Permanent Representative in Armenia Bradley Busetto. This ceremony was organised through the EU-funded and UNDP-implemented “Modernisation of Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan Border Crossing Points of Armenia” (MBBG) project. After the opening, participants toured the facility.
The main objective of this EU-supported MBBG project has been to promote free movement of people and goods across the border, ensuring border security, improving bilateral and regional cooperation, and modernising the three checkpoints at Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan. This modernisation has been in accordance with the requirements of Armenian law, international standards and principles, as well as the principles of comprehensive border administration.
14947825_1149054925148435_7735196230274237844_nAdjemian spoke about EU border-management projects: ‘The European Union funds numerous inter-related programmes at all Armenian border posts with Georgia and Iran. We support the creation of an e-governance single window, finance physical and IT infrastructure, provide training, and ensure best practice exchange. Today, we are witnessing the impact of the European Union’s cooperation efforts in Bagratashen. Armenian citizens can now cross this border point in a faster, more secure and more efficient manner. Trade has been facilitated and will support further economic and social development, thus benefiting Armenian citizens and the entire region’.
De Sampigny commented on the EIB’s involvement in infrastructure in the region: ‘EIB supports, as the EU bank, the Armenian government’s key priority of fostering the development of crossing points between Armenia and Georgia, such as Bagratashen, to comply with increased demand for smoother flows of people, vehicles and goods in terms of quality and capacity. This new, modern infrastructure will have positive implications in the standards of everyday life of citizens, will increase security, and will improve trade across the whole region’.
BCP modernisation is expected to raise the living standards of local populations in the shorter term, i.e. through jobs created by construction, and also in the longer term, i.e. jobs to permanently man the checkpoints and other cross-border economic activities. BCP modernisation will also address additional issues surrounding communication and transportation.

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Potential gains from updated BCPs are not limited to business alone. The ability to move across borders freely and easily, and to engage in small-scale cross-border trade is vitally important to local border communities, increasing livelihood opportunities and access to services. The EU and UNDP have worked together to ensure modern and streamlined procedures and trained 700 border officials in search techniques, profiling, dealing with refugees, and fighting drug trafficking.
The EU’s affiliate European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended a 30.8 million Euro loan to the Government of Armenia for financing of the project, which was complemented by a 17.6 million Euro grant from the European Union.

László Baranyay, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), accompanied by Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, had an opportunity to get first-hand information about the construction process of Bagratashen BCP, challenges, and completion timelines on 15 October 2015.
The modernisation of Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan BCPs on the Armenian-Georgian border is a top priority for the Government of Armenia. The project is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia with financial support of the EU financial institutions.
The Government of Armenia has received € 30 million in loans for the project from the EIB for infrastructure and equipment at the BCPs, which is complemented by a grant of € 12 million from the European Commission’s Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF) and more than € 3 million from the EU-funded Eastern Partnership IBM Flagship Initiative. The main contractor for construction works is French SADE Consortium, while the construction supervision is provided by Belgian SAFEGE Consulting Engineers.
IMG_2335Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia stated: “The benefits of this project are multifaceted. Modernizing the border crossing points not only improves the services provided to the customers but also contributes to the facilitation of international trade and transit. At the same time it keeps the borders secure, and reduces smuggling and trafficking of people and goods. The regional dimension of this project is of great value as in addition to enhancing inter-agency cooperation, the concept of regional integration promotes economic development, stability and peace.”
“UNDP is pleased to support the modernization of Armenia’s borders, and this means not just highest standard infrastructure, but also strengthened systems and procedures that are also world-class”, said Bradley Busetto, UN RC/UNDP RR in Armenia. Since 2010, UNDP trained more than 700 officials from all border management agencies on search techniques, document security, human resources management, added the head of the UN in Armenia. Through the additional construction of gas and fiber-optic networks, more than 50 thousand residents of bordering communities have also been able to benefit from this infrastructure.
László Baranyay, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in the Eastern Partnership countries, stated: “Efficient handling of traffic and goods is vital for passenger transport and trade exchange between Armenia and Georgia. Today I witnessed first-hand how the EIB loan and other EU funding are helping to modernize this critical border crossing.”
It is expected that the three border crossing points in Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan will be completed and operational in 2016.