The European Union plans to lay a submarine cable to improve communication with Georgia and reduce dependence on lines passing through Russia. This is reported by the Financial Times with reference to the policy document of the European Commission.
The cost of the project, which involves laying a cable 1,100 kilometers across the international waters of the Black Sea, is estimated at 45 million euros. Its implementation will connect the EU member states with the Caucasus region.
The main goal of the project is to reduce “the region’s dependence on terrestrial fiber optic connections that transit through Russia,” the European Commission document says.
In 2021, the EU and Georgia have already agreed to lay an underwater Internet cable under the Black Sea to improve digital connectivity in Georgia. However, the military conflict on the territory of Ukraine gave an additional impetus to the project, as there was a “need to create a more reliable and stable connection,” the FT reports, citing a source familiar with the details of the project.
At the same time, it is clarified that the time frame for the implementation of the project has not yet been agreed.
In addition, as noted in the FT, there is another project to lay a cable in the Black Sea. The British operator Vodafone is considering the possibility of laying a cable as part of the Kardessa project. This cable will connect Ukraine with Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia, and then will be stretched underground to Armenia, Kazakhstan and further to Asia.