The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €170 million loan to the Republic of Georgia. The funds will support a project to upgrade and rehabilitate the east-west highway, which is a priority transport infrastructure linking Georgia's capital city, Tbilisi, and its Black Sea ports with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The project includes the construction of 52km of new road between Samtredia and Grigoleti at the most western part of the route, as well as the rehabilitation of 16km of existing roads leading south from Grigoleti.

EIB vice-president Wilhelm Molterer said, "The east-west highway is a key transport axis in Georgia, which is of great importance not only for Georgia and its neighbouring countries, but also for the EU as a strategic transit route for road transport between Europe and Central Asia."

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