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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Says Ferry Will Boost Trade to Armenia

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Wednesday praised the imminent opening of a ferry route that will open up transportation links between Russia and Armenia.

The ferry will start work "any day now," the Armenian government said in a statement Wednesday.

The ferry, from the Russian Black Sea port of Kavkaz to Georgia's Poti, is also a second step toward relaxing Russia's ban on transport links with Georgia. Over the Easter weekend, authorities allowed flights from Tbilisi to land in Moscow in what they said was a humanitarian gesture.

Russia last fall imposed a full transportation, trade and postal blockade on Georgia after a spying scandal soured relations between the countries.

A landlocked country with its borders already blocked by neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey over a long-running territorial dispute, Armenia was also hit hard by the blockade of Georgia.

The ferry service, able to carry up to 50 rail wagons, will effectively remove the blockade and "cut this Gordian knot," Ivanov said, Interfax reported.

Ivanov made his comments during a one-day visit to Yerevan, where he met with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan and discussed trade, transport and nuclear energy.

An official accompanying Ivanov said no deals were signed Wednesday.