Newsfeed

Baku to "blacklist" Bulgarian lawmakers for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh

Optimization goes full speed: Armenian government refused 30 cars over week

Edward Nalbandian: Armenia-Artsakh agreement on mutual military support is being elaborated

Nalbandian responds to Switalski

Samvel Babayan: I am back to Artsakh and it is for the people to decide the rest

NKR Defense Army soldier killed

Komatsu mining equipment presented at Teghout

Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border was mostly peaceful overnight

Azerbaijani armed forces resume fire overnight

UCom CEO: Future of telecommunications field is in providing convergent services

Beeline launches an upgraded landline network upgraded with wireless technology and 450 MHz

Armenian reconnoiter: Largely discussed 700-800 ha are neutral zone between dug positions

Vivacell-MTS has replenished range of smartphones offered within "STARTPHONE" tariff plan with 9 new models

Rostelecom Armenia summed up results of the 1st round of annual "Technology for Life -More Opportunities" contest

Military Prosecutor's Office of Armenia investigates information about sale of Armenian Armed Forces' tinned food in Poland

Areximbank-GPB Group sums up results of "8 gifts by March 8" campaign conducted jointly with MasterCard

Transport ministry: Gagik Beglaryan has no bodyguards and he is not implicated in beating of people

Aim of OSCE MG Co-Chairs is to lay groundwork for negotiations that can lead to a comprehensive settlement, Warlick

Central Bank: By 1 April 2016 overdue loans in Armenian banks grew by 22.5% over year

Vladimir Yevseyev: Updated Madrid Principles will not be implemented until the armed conflict is frozen

Mass Media: Bodyguards of Transport Minister detained under case over beating of businessman's son Sergey Abovyan

Stepanakert: The territories the Armenian side lost in April were mostly part of the buffer zone around Nagorno Karabakh

Federica Mogherini says next annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting will be held in spring of 2017

Seyran Ohanyan has not met with Samvel Babayan

PACE Co-rapporteurs: Those responsible for atrocities in Karabakh conflict zone should be held fully accountable

Expenses of Armenian President's Administration up 10% in 2015

Prime minister: Supply of Russian weaponry to Armenia launched

Serzh Sargsyan and Seyran Ohanyan to discuss Karabakh problem in presidential residence tonight

Two-fold growth of loan restructuring applications registered in VTB Bank (Armenia)

Head of Armament Unit of Armenia's Armed Forces dismissed

Sharmazanov: Genocide of Christians in Ottoman Turkey, IS actions and Azerbaijani aggression have same handwriting

Ex-president of Armenia included in list of candidates for election to the new Board of Directors of JSFC Sistema

Mammadyarov: Status quo in Karabakh conflict may lead to severe military clashes

Trial over case of the cardboard tank that "crashed" into NSS building is still going on

Tatoul Manaseryan: Top power branches have a great number of caterpillars

Штормовой ветер срывал крыши домов и не на шутку напугал жителей Еревана

Armenian President attends ceremony of unveiling of Memorial to Marshal Hamazasp Babajanian

Bostanjyan calls for reducing all expenses having no crucial significance to state

OSCE PA Special Representative for South Caucasus arrives in Armenia

Seyran Ohanyan: Territories lost during April war were part of Artsakh

Armenian Defense Ministry responds to media reports about dismissal of commander of Mataghis regiment

Greek Defense Minister: Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be settled exclusively through peaceful means

Armenia and China discuss issue to boost cooperation

Baku trying to shift responsibility for April flare up in Karabakh onto Armenian side

Azerbaijani armed forces fire at Azerbaijani-Armenian border

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.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields