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In Protest at Energy Rate Increase Activists of "Against Robbery" Movement have gone on a Sit Strike in Freedom Square

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Head of Armenia-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group: Declaration of Cooperation with Canadian Parliament result of years-long work

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"Against Robbery" public interest group calls on citizens of Armenia to join protests against rising energy costs on May 27

Several members of "Centennial Without Regime" Movement detained overnight

Armenia's National Security Council exposes "talented" Azerbaijani spies that tried to gather information through "odnoklassniki" social media

Turkey Ambassador says some Armenian circles in Russia and outside it impeding Russian-Turkish relations

Mammadyarov: Russia "keen to move Karabakh talks from the dead center"

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In Japan Edward Sharmazanov Spoke about the Armenian Cultural Heritage being Destroyed in Azerbaijan, Turkey and by Islamic State

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The Second Government Premises to be put in Commission in November 2015

Young "Dashnaktsakans" Protesting Against the Expected Energy Rate Increase

Myths and Reality about Mining

Stepanavan Airport will be Ready for Operation by the End of 2015

Matenadaran to Digitize Ancient Manuscripts and Documents with Beeline Support

Zhirayr Sefilyan: Founding Parliament to rally on May 30

Sergey Lavrov: Karabakh conflict settlement among Russia's foreign political priorities

Anti-corruption measures in education fail to give tangible results

European Conservatives & Reformists Group to hold its next enlarged meeting in Armenia

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Citizens of Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have the right to receive insurance benefits along with Russians

Baku: Azerbaijan expects EU to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions

Alliance Party comes out with public statement on crimes committed by Electric Networks of Armenia

EOC President: Presence of Armenia at inaugural European Games in Baku demonstrates how sport can give a lead to politicians

Elmar Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan will settle Nagorno Karabakh conflict in any case

Edward Nalbandian on Riga Summit: Armenia's Expectations Delivered

Aliyev: Azerbaijan Aspires to Resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in Accordance with International Law

Armed forces of Azerbaijan fired over 3,500 shots at Karabakh positions on May 17-23

Azeraijan's vetoing the Riga Summit declaration was a senseless and shortsighted step, Martin Schulz says

Russia and Azerbaijan to Discuss Settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Edward Nalbandian: Azerbaijan again Left Isolated in Respect of Support to the Mediation Efforts by the Co- Chairs of the Minsk Group

Views from Yerevan: Georgia's Association with EU will not settle Javakhq's problems

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Thursday, June 26, 12:32

Signing an Association Agreement with the EU on 27 June, Georgia will hardly manage to settle the major problems of its ethnic minorities, including the Sambtskhe- Javakheti region, says Sergey Minasyan, Deputy Head of the Caucasus Institute, in an interview with ArmInfo.  

"Nevertheless, I hope, in the new political and legal realities, our compatriots will get new impetuses and mechanisms to improve the situation and get better living conditions. The challenges that Georgia has faced after gaining independence will not disappear. However, the new conditions will stimulate and help Georgia neutralize those challenges," the political scientist says.

According to him, the major problems of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, where the population is overwhelmingly Armenian, are connected with protection and exercise of the public rights, normalization of the social-economic and political situation, and democratization of the region. Minasyan thinks the change of power in Georgia in 2012 has softened the political atmosphere in that country, which has a positive impact also on the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Religious freedom and an opportunity for the local Armenians to involve in the public and political processes in Georgia more actively are only part of the general tendency, he says.

"However, in the middle of 2013, there were indications that the Georgian authorities are returning to some methods of Saakashvili. First of all, I mean the multilevel influence of special services on the public, political, social and economic life in Javakheti. It became obvious after the elections to the local self- government on 15 June. In conformity with the new Local Self-Government Code, mayors of the towns having a status of self-governments must be elected through direct voting. It applied to Akhaltsikha, but not Akhalkalaki that has overwhelmingly Armenian population, though the authors of the bill sought to apply it also to Akhalkalaki," Minasyan said.

He believes that the local elections in Javakheti or Kvemo-Kartli were less democratic than in other regions of Georgia. People in those regions are actually deprived of the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of choice, amid really developing democratic and election standards in Georgia. "For instance, unlike Tbilisi, elections in the regions densely populated with national minorities were supervised by the special services," Minasyan says for conclusion. 

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