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Founding Parliament movement holds a Yerevan-Gyumri car rally

UN Council on Human Rights Adopting Armenia's Resolution on Genocide Prevention

Turkish Deputy: Karabakh Conflict to be Settled within Azerbaijan's Territorial Integrity

Turkey Hoping the European Commission Will Not Recognize the Armenian Genocide

Seyran Ohanyan: Baku Responsible for the Possible Escalation of the Karabakh Conflict

Kiev Events Dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial

Sevak Sarukhanyan: Concerns about possible emergence of ISIS in Azerbaijan focus Tehran's attention on Baku

Villagers address a letter to Armenian Prime Minister over a tailing dump of Akhtala Mining Plant

Armen Rustamyan: ARFD's coalition with authorities depends on whether its 7 proposals will be fulfilled

Heritage Party about negotiations with president: "Terrorists hijacking planes are bad guys, but we have to negotiate with them to save hostages"

Parliamentary forces do not support Founding Parliament movement's steps

Head of Chinari rural community: Tension on the border should not cause panic

"Never Again" - Films telling about Genocide of Armenians screened at Sofia Film Festival

Nikol Pashinyan Tore to Bits SCPEC Armenia's Head

Armenian Assembly of America urges US Subcommittee to allocate $40 million in assistance to Armenia

Orange Contributing to the Project "Bringing Sight to Armenian Eyes"

Defense Ministry of Armenia sets up special organization to manage Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Facility

Beeline Announces "Information Technologies in my Life" Contest

SCR offers preferential fares for electric trains in April

Zhirair Sefilian: the "Founding Parliament" to Start 24/7 Tea Parties since April 24

Washington Forecast: USA Paying More Attention to Baku as a versus to Armenian-Russian Axis

Seyran Ohanyan: Russia assists Armenia globally

Tigran Urikhanyan leaves Prosperous Armenia Party

VTB Armenia Mortgage Portfolio to Increase by 10-20% in 2015

Baku blacklists journalists for attending medias forum in Yerevan

Defense Minister of Armenia says reasons why Armenian soldier crossed border into Azerbaijan must be sought in his family

Azerbaijan uses mortars on Line of Contact

Armenian soldier dies from heavy wounds received when repelling adversary

Traian Hristea: Metsamor NPP Prescheduled Shut-Down is the EU Main Purpose

Defence Minister: the Situation on the Front Line is Under Control of Armenian Armed Forces

In 2014 VTB Armenia Strengthened its Positions in Retail Business

VTB Armenia Bank Investments in Branch Network Modernization Exceeding 5 Million USD

Official: State Commission keeps an eye on large economic entities

Official: "ENA" CJSC quits discrimination against consumers

Raffi Hovannisian: Meeting of Armen Martirosyan and Rubik Hakobyan with Serzh Sargsyan does not run contrary to Heritage Party's stand

South Caucasus Railway: Efficiency of investments in railway infrastructure of Armenia evident

Magnitude 3.7 quake hits north of Armenia

British parliamentarian demands Government to recognize Genocide of Armenians

Valery Gergiev's concert in Yerevan postponed

Beeline supports screening of "Komitas: Crane of Melancholy" film-performance

Parliament Vice-Speaker Harshly Criticizing Levon Ter-Petrosyan's Speech on the Centennial of the Genocide

ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK: new capacities on a new website

Ishkhan Mkhitaryan: Armenian Card ready for technological leap in credit card market

Ministry of Defence Armenia: The Karabakh Conflict Zone Situation is Tensed, but Under Control

Inspections Performed in Akhtala Ore Mining Plant

Former employees of Nairit Plant demand their wages again

Armenian Foreign Ministry tries to find out if there were Armenian citizens of board the crashed Airbus A320

Levon Ter-Petrosyan introduces his own option of All Armenian Declaration on 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

Ukrainian political expert: Poroshenko due to abandon idea of Ukraine's liberation

National Assembly of Armenia passes draft resolution condemning Genocide against Greeks and Assyrians

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, 15:54

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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