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 Tuesday, June 3 2014 11:21:53

Степанян Դավիթ Stepanyan Ստեփանյան David Давид

Gia Nodia: Not the shortage of territories but finding a place in the world is the key problem of Russia

Gia Nodia: Not the shortage of territories but finding a place in the world is the key problem of Russia

 During the November
summit in Vilnius, only two out of the 6
countries of the “Eastern partnership”, Georgia
and Moldova
initialed the Association Agreement and DCFTA. What are further prospects of
this project of the EU against such a background?


 


 The
"Eastern partnership" has become a claim of the European Union to
protect its interests in the countries of the post-Soviet area, at least, its
western part. I think that the given programme of the EU has implemented its
function. Just the "Eastern partnership" has become a catalyst
element of certain processes and pushed its member-states towards the
geo-political choice. Of course, this has become not so much pleasant scenario
for Armenia, as a result of
which, Yerevan
was forced to make a strict choice. And despite the very core of the eastern
partnership, it has pushed its member states towards the choice and
understanding of their further development, and values. I  think that in the political context the Eastern
partnership has turned to be a rather productive project. The project goes on
developing, taking into account the fact that Georgia,
Moldova and Ukraine made a choice in favor of Europe, but the rest three countries did not do that. The
rest three countries: Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Belarus did not refuse relations with Europe either.  But
because of different reasons, they did not find themselves in this European
zone. "Nobody knows how the project will go on developing in future. But
there is no doubt that it has pushed and developed certain true processes in
the geo-politics. 


 


  Armenia’s participation in the Eurasian
Union and  Georgia’s in the AA and  DCFTA seem to draw an additional border
between our countries. Will this become a trial for the relations between Yerevan and Tbilisi?


 


 The
external players have been always aware that Armenia
and Georgia
have different foreign political vectors. For this reason, Armenia's participation in the Eurasian Union,
and Georgia's in the Association Agreement and DCFTA will not become a trial for
the relations between Yerevan and Tbilisi. Although the
problem of making choice between Russia
and the European Union was not put against Yerevan,
it was always clear that because of several reasons, in the sphere of security Armenia is oriented towards Russia.
However, although security forces us to have different global geo-political
vectors, it is in favor of Armenia
as well as Georgia
to ignore this  fact and develop the
relations as much as possible. I think that in general the Georgian=Armenian relations
have always  been rather stable, and
irrespective of the person being in power in Tbilisi
and in Yerevan,
nothing changed in these relations. For this reason, the expert sees no
pre-requisites for the negative changing of the relations which will go on
developing.


 Is availability
of the Armenian populated Samtskhe-Javahkh region  another stimulus for development of the
Georgian-Armenian relations?


 


 Tthis has positive as well as negative
sides. Tthe negative side is expressed in the fact that Georgia has a
certain distrust in Samtskhe-Javahkh, proved by numerous negative publications
in the Armenian press about the Georgian policy in this region. However, this
negative element is from the populist policy sphere. But from the point of view
of reality, the situation is normal and Samtskhe-Javahkh populated by Armenians
is an additional factor for good relations between Tbilisi
and Yerevan.


 Do you
think that Russia’s response
to westernization of Ukraine
is adequate to the challemges that it faces from the West?


 Any
actions by any state should be adequate to its interests. The point is, who
defines them and what are the national interests of Russia.It has turned out
that according to the common laws, the current Russia has a part of a spoiler in
the international relations. Its today's task is to get rid of this role or, at
least, to spoil the game of other players. And figuratively saying, today  Russia breaks the sand castles
built by others according  to the
principle "let's see how long they will let us doing it". Maybe,
Putin's such position is adequate if it is stemming from the national interests
of Russia.
However, such games will damage Putin's rating which was high and has become
even higher. I do not understand what will Russia gain in a long-term
prospect. It is not clear, if Russia
will become a really strong country. I think that  in long term prospect Russia will
nevertheless lose as  a result of its
shortfall policy. Certainly today's response of the West to the challenges and
dangers created by Russia
is not adequate either, as it could be more distinct and specific.  Nevertheless, the conflict around Ukraine has damaged much the relations of Russia with the
West and has resulted in the situation close to the "cold war. I  doubt very much that Russia will win
the war. Certainly, Moscow got the first prize
in this war – the Ctimea, just the same way as it got Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008. Actually, it can also get Lugansk and
Donetsk. But I
don’t think that shortage of territories today’s key problem of Russia.     


 What are Russia’s problems?


 First of all,
Russia
faces a problem of necessity of a long-term development and finding its place
in the world. Before the USSR
split, Russia
was one of the poles of the two-pole world. After the USSR split, it became
one of the big players at the world arena. But its claims for restoration of the
former role do not meet its resources. And as its latest actions show, Moscow  cannot still come to balance between its big
ambitions and resources. I think that finding of this balance is the key
problem of Russia.
It should understand what place it can occupy in the modern world. There are two
poles of development in the modern world: democratic and authoritarian.


  But the
authoritarian trend is modern today…


 May be.
However, today not Russia
but China
is a key sample of the authoritarian development. Today’s Russia can
attract countries only through frightening them. In the current reality, this
may have a bad result for Russia
first of all. Meanwhile, taking its resources into account, undoubtedly, this
country may become a center of attraction at least for its neighboring states.


But all its
latest actions, especially in Ukraine,
are still directed only towards frightening but not attracting.  For this reason, I think that if in a
short-term prospect this may result in consolidation of the Russian community
around the power, in the long-term prospect this may have a boomerang effect
for Russia.

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