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Zardusht Alizade: After Ukraine and Syria, Putin wants to play a peacekeeper’s role in Karabakh

Azerbaijani Armed Forces again shelling Armenian positions

Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army: Adversary will receive response for its actions

Two servicemen of Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army die in conflict zone

Hrant Bagratyan stresses the need to expand the scale of dismissals in Armenian Defense Ministry system

Head of EU Delegation to Armenia: Both Armenians and Azerbaijanis should prepare for peace

Parliamentary forces of Armenia ready to sign "gentleman's agreement" on excluding pre-election bribes

Mammadyarov to Sargsyan: Conditions put forward for resumption of negotiations undermine peace process on settlement

Azerbaijani FM: Russia has offered a phased solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Zaruhi Postanjyan: Large-scale armed hostilities in Artsakh are yet to start

Armenian delegation comments on the ban on Artsakh flag at Eurovision Song Contest

UITE: 300 specialists and 50 companies in IT sector and engineering willing to contribute to development of Military Industrial Complex of Armenia

Sharmazanov to Mammadyarov: Baku will not succeed in its attempts to throw dust in eyes of international community

Armenian PR Association to establish with Beeline's support the first national PR award in Armenia

Areximbank-GPB Group staff members visit schools in Armavir region under My Finance Month-2016 project

Armenia's Parliament Vice Speaker: No negotiations are possible unless Azerbaijan stops violating ceasefire

U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez Calls for Leahy Law Investigation of Azerbaijani Abuses

Bako Sahakyan says Karabakh will cede no land and urges world community to reconsider its attitude towards aggressor

Bako Sahakyan: Karabakh conflict cannot be settled, unless Artsakh in involved in peace talks

Konstantin Kosachev: Turkey's stance on Karabakh encourages of one the sides to the conflict to continue it

Azerbaijan continues violating ceasefire arrangements

Armenian Defense Ministry registers 18 incidents on border with Azerbaijan

SCR: Number of railway casualties in Armenia keeps increasingly growing

Ankara hopes Karabakh conflict will be resolved with due regard for 'sovereignty' of Azerbaijan

Beeline extends functions of My Beeline Armenia application

Nikol Pashinyan: Opposition exaggerates Electoral Code's role in holding fair elections

France-Karabakh Circle of Friendship perplexed by lack of Paris' official reaction to Baku's explicit threats

Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army presented evidences of rocket bombardment of Mataghis by Azerbaijani armed forces

Central Bank of Armenia approves merger agreement of ProCredit Bank and INECOBANK

Stratfor forecast: Military escalation will continue to be a possibility in Nagorno-Karabakh, with effects that reach far beyond the bounds of the small contested territory

EU supports peaceful resolution of Karabakh conflict, Malena Mard says

Azerbaijan's armed forces fire more than 240 rounds at Karabakh positions and target Mataghis populated area overnight

Armenia's Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan shells at state border with Armenia

U.S. Department of State: We have remained in contact with both governments and we need to see the peace process back up and running as soon as possible

Manvel Sargsyan: Armenia due to reconsider fundamentally its 20-year-long policy towards Russia

Seyran Ohanyan: There will be no new dismissals in Armenia's defense system

Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army: Adversary's movements noticed on northeastern direction of line of contact

Artsrun Hovhannisyan: Situation in Artsakh is quiet at the moment

Yerevan: The time has come for international community to call Baku to order by using specific measures

Arpine Hovhannisyan: Mihran Poghosyan case is being investigated

Russian foreign ministry: the primary task is to exclude regular outbreak of aggression

Three Armenian servicemen wounded on Line of Contact of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijani troops

Investigative Committee: Identity of the second killed passenger is established

National Revival: Hermine Naghdalyan's statement is a stab in the back of Artsakh soldier

Communist Party of Russia suggests Vladimir Putin to deploy missiles in Cuba to protect Russia and Armenia

Russia thinks military contacts of Baku and Yerevan may be continued

NKR Defense Army: Baku's reports that Armenian side allegedly uses ammunition banned by international conventions are delirium

Oskanian's party not to demand Serzh Sargsyan's resignation

Stepanakert condemns Baku's attempts to denounce unilaterally the trilateral cease-fire agreement of 12 May 1994

Russian Foreign Ministry: Contribution to search for optimal solutions in Nagorno-Karabakh peace process continued

Regional

Andrey Areshev: No country in post-Soviet area, even Russia, can afford luxury of cutting relations with Washington and Brussels

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Monday, October 8, 20:54

Georgian Dream’s victory in parliamentary elections in Georgia speaks of changes brewing in that country. Do you expect any serious corrections to Saakashvili’s pro-Western course?

I think that with a success of the Georgian Dream coalition, new opportunities are

created for normalization of the Russian-Georgian relations, though the coalition has united very different politicians. Public in Georgia seeks political changes and serious corrections in the foreign policy.  Final distribution of powers in the Georgian parliament and formation of the Cabinet will clear up the situation. Any Georgian politician is reluctant to express his loyalty to the Trans-Atlantic course because of some circumstances. However, restoration of good-neighborhood with Russia was one of the priorities of Bidzina Ivanishvili's campaign, which is within the interests of Georgia, first of all.  No one expects Tbilisi to cut relations with Washington and Brussels, indeed, because no country in the post-Soviet area, even Russia, can afford such luxury. Certain evolution is possible due to weakening of attention by foreign players.

 

In this light, these was quite an interesting fact i.e. an analytical report "Georgia: National Security Concept versus National Security" by Chatham House that emerged in August. The author Neil MacFarlane spotlighted the peripheral location of Georgia from the viewpoint of vital interests of the EuroAtlantic countries and their main institutions as well as the fact that the

Georgian leaderships stakes on foreign support. It sounds like that stake is no longer justified and the future leadership of Georgia will have less romantic illusions towards NATO and EU.

It is becoming evident that the problems with South Ossetia and Abkhazia originated from Mikheil Saakashvili’s pro-Western policy. Do you see any perspectives for mutually advantageous settlement of those conflicts with the change of power in Georgia?

A necessity of building a really democratic and prosperous Georgian state attractive for the people of Abkhaza and South Ossetia seemed to be one of the priorities in the electoral campaign of the Georgian Dream. I think establishment of direct contacts and dialogue with Sukhumi

and Tskhinval is of big importance.  Although Saakashvili's adventurous policy had seriously destroyed those relations ending in the August War 2008, the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetic conflicts gathered pace yet in the middle of 80s and 90s of the last century. There are many obstacles to overcome to achieve a constructive dialogue.  However, there is no alternative to it, I think. 

Do you anticipate any serious transformations in the transport and communications system in the South Caucasus up to partial restoration of the infrastructure of the Soviet period, given Georgian Dream leader’s aspiration to restore railways and motor communication with Abkhazia?

I think it is a very serious statement and it is necessary to do everything possible in order Bidzina Ivanishvi's statement that his coalition studies restoration of the railway and motor communication with Abkhazia does not become a forgotten element of the Georgian Dream's electoral rhetoric. Such statements were made also before, but they were unrealizable because of the stalemate in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. In the meanwhile, lifting the blockade of the transport routes linking Russia and Armenia meets the interests of all the parties that are for stability in the region and peaceful resolution of the conflicts. It is noteworthy that there are some examples of positive interaction in maintenance of infrastructures of vital importance despite political discrepancies, for instance, operation of Ingur HPP. In addition, the border along the River of Ingur is not an obstacle that is impossible to overcome. Restoration of communications with Abkhazia under a hypothetical special legal regime that would regulate only organizational and technical issues and leave aside political disputes could become an

important factor for establishing a dialogue between Tbilisi and Sukhumi. I am sure that both Yerevan and Moscow will welcome such a productive dialogue.

 

As for the project of Kazvin-Resht-Astara railway, Areshev said that construction of a railway linking the railways of Russia and Iran via the territory of Azerbaijan has been studied for a long time already. The growing tension around Iran and the West's attempts to involve official Baku into Anti-Syrian foreign political course creates certain political and organizational burdens for the project.  In this light, an alternative communication corridor and practical steps in the given area meet the interests of Moscow and Tehran that are interested in establishing additional contacts and turning the Caucasus into a zone of peace and mutually advantageous cooperation.

Georgia is a key transit country for both Armenia and Azerbaijan. What geopolitical changes are expected in the South Caucasus with the change of power in Georgia?

I hope the foreign political course of new Georgia will be more balanced and weighted. In

particular, there is a necessity of a close military-political dialogue with Russia, economic dialogue with Azerbaijan and Turkey, restoration of relations with Russian and promotion of economic ties with Armenia and Iran.  Staking exclusively on the West's support has

already led to negative consequences for Georgia. These consequences are of systematic nature and did not end with the loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. I’d like to outline the situation in the Adjara autonomy bordering with Turkey. The role of a transit country does not meet the long-term development goals of the Georgian economy, which is not limited to pipeline service and hotel and restaurant business. It is important that the public need for changes, which was reflected in the past elections, gets logical solutions adequate to the realities in the foreign and domestic policy.

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