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Armenia's Police alarmed over bomb in Zvartnots International Airport

One of medical workers of Ambulance service released from seized building

One of leaders of Founding Parliament Alek Yenigomshyan detained

Arrest chosen as measure of restriction for Pavel Manukyan's son: Manukyan himself launched hunger strike

Leaders of "Founding Parliament" decide to hold protests on Liberty Square

Anti-Crisis group justifies its "mistakes" with intention to avoid bloodshed

Armenian police detaining all citizens passing by Khorenatsi Street near the seized building, foreign citizens among them

National Security Service of Armenia addresses members of Daredevils of Sasoun: The possibility still exists but the time is running out

Yenigomshyan believes in success of oppositionist movement

Representatives of Armenian Ombudsman's office visit Police department in Shengavit district and meet activist Levon Barseghyan

National Assembly of Armenia has not discussed demand to meet with delegation of parliamentarians laid down by "Daredevils of Sasoun"

US Embassy to Armenia calls for immediate release of medical personnel from seized building

"Daredevils of Sasoun" group presented details of last night's firefight: there was sabotage by Police

Yenigomshyan: Doctors are not hostages they are guarantee for satisfying conditions, laid down by Daredevils of Sasoun

Armenian Healthcare Ministry considers impossible fulfillment of armed group's demand on exchange of medical workers who were taken hostages

Yenigomshyan rings alarm: Levon Barseghyan missing since early morning

Economy Ministry of Armenia sees no reasons why Single European Sky is still close for Armenia

"Daredevils of Sasoun" provide details of overnight skirmish: Police resorted to sabotage

James Warlick: Yerevan and Baku agree to expand OSCE monitoring group in Karabakh conflict zone

Medical community of Armenia condemns "Daredevils of Sasoun" for taking 4 medical workers hostage

Police ban citizens from gathering in territory adjacent to seized Police Patrol Service Regiment building in Yerevan

Forecast: No prospects for NATO's expansion into South Caucasus

Armenian human rights defender verifying reports on mass detention of citizens

Armenian human rights defender verifying reports on mass detention of citizens

Two wounded members of armed group "Daredevils of Sasoun" sent to prison hospital

U.S. Embassy in Armenia once again issues a security message for U.S. citizens in Armenia urging them to avoid daily demonstrations

Azerbaijan's drones circling above Karabakh-Azerbaijani Line of Contact

Lives of wounded members of "Daredevils of Sasoun" Pavel Manukyan and his son in danger after past night's skirmish

Police reinforce its positions at Khoreatsi Street

Policemen's actions against Daredevils of Sasoun escalate situation even more

Armenian NSS warns that it has to take stricter actions for preventing new crimes by Daredevils of Sasoun

VTB Bank (Armenia) resumes service of transfers from card to card via Visa Direct system

Ombudsman presented his position and proposals related to events in Erebuni

View from Berlin: Establishment of Turkish bases in Azerbaijan testifies to Turkey's independent geopolitical game in Eurasia

Armenia's Police urge demonstrators to find another place to hold protests

German political analyst says Western forces may be behind orange revolutions and coup attempts in post- Soviet countries

Forecast: Eradication of ISIL and other organizations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya will result in spillover of war to Southern Europe, France and Germany

German political analyst: New gold war emerged, as Russia refused to accept Western model of development

Armenian Police: "Daredevils of Sasoun" have been provided with food

Alliance Party officially joins people's movement in support of "Daredevils of Sasoun" and their demands to Armenia's leadership

"Daredevils of Sasoun" group disclaims Police reports: Skirmish occurred in area of seized building not on neutral territory

Deputy Minister of Economy does not specify final date of Armenia-EU new framework agreement

Tigran Balayan: Armenia's leadership has repeatedly commented on normalization of relations with Turkey

Wounded members of "Daredevils of Sasoun" undergo surgery

Armenian Police make statement on past night's skirmish

Armenian Police: Armed group that seized Police Patrol Service Regiment has burnt three police cars in territory of seized building

Two members of armed group "Daredevils of Sasoun" wounded overnight and taken to hospital

Rebels burn two police cars on territory of seized building

Newspaper: Zhirayr Sefilyan does not refuse from the demand of Serzh Sargsyan's resignation

Oppositionists at Khorenatsi Street demand from Armenian authorities to refute information that armed groups from Chechen Republic are arrivING in the country

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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