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New appointments at VTB Bank (Armenia)

Armenian President: Denial of Armenian Genocide turns present-day Turkish authorities into accomplices to the crime committed by Young Turks

President Serzh Sargsyan attends opening of Komitas Museum-Institute

Spokesman of Armenian DM: I will not be surprised if tomorrow Azerbaijan destroys an Armenian intercontinental ballistic missile

Action of protest held in front of OSCE Office in Yerevan

Tension on Line of Contact is unlikely to develop into large-scale military operations, Azeri expert says

Well-known actor Vardan Petrosyan sentenced to 5 years in jail

Armenian Defense Ministry: Two Armenian servicemen wounded as a result of Azeri sabotage attack

Small business representatives heading towards president's residence protesting against Law on Turnover Tax

Azeri raiders convicted in Artsakh apply to Court of Appeal

Gevork Kostanyan: Armenian people had to protect their own history against distortion at ECHR

Haaretz: President of Israel touches upon Armenian Genocide

Francois Hollande calls on Turkey to dispel stereotypes and recognize Genocide of Armenians

Armenian armed forces rebuff a new Azeri sabotage attack on the border in Tavush region

Armenian delegation to PACE voices issue of Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey

Small HPPs constructed on rivers to get green passports

Verdict on "Perincek vs. Switzerland" case will be announced within 6-8 months

Official Stepanakert thinks extradition of Dilham Askerov may not be debated

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs voice their concern over growing tensions in Karabakh conflict zone

Eduard Sharmazanov: "OSCE MG's latest statement was unprecedented, as the mediators took Baku down a peg for the first time ever "

President of Armenia: "Artsakh's right to live in freedom is undisputable"

Artsvik Minasyan: Any integration is senseless for unreformed economy of Armenia

Armenia's Energy Ministry plans to sell part of Nairit Plant's assets

Armenian Defense Minister: Transfer of Valery Permyakov to Armenian law-enforcers was not discussed at the meeting with Arkady Bakhin

Expert: Armenian law-enforcers are not involved in Permyakov case investigation to full extent

British Film Festival 13th Love Edition to kick off in Yerevan on Feb 14

Changes in Russia-Middle East relations cannot but affect Armenian-Russian military strategic cooperation

Armenian FM: Armenia and Iran have no problems concerning their joint projects

Global Finance: In 2015 Ameriabank named the best trade finance bank of the year in Armenia

Armenian Defense Minister: Azerbaijani raider's fate must be discussed with authorities of Nagorno Karabakh only

OSCE chairperson-in-office calls on the parties to the Karabakh conflict to ensure a full ceasefire

Armenia to appear in first semifinal of Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Foreign minister of Iran: Teheran hopes to tackle issue of Russia's S300 supplies as soon as possible

Serzh Sargsyan: It might have been possible to prevent the crimes committed under veil of WWII had the crimes against humanity committed during WWI earned unequivocal international condemnation

Newspaper: Permyakov was not acquainted with Avetisyans family

India Ambassador to Armenia welcomes level of bilateral cooperation

Expert: Russia's every decision directly affects Armenia

Richard Giragosian: After aligning with EEU, Armenia faced security threats

Police: Valery Permyakov might have acted not alone

Armenian FM: Armenia's stance on Karabakh is similar to that of Russia, France and the United States

President of Armenia: We have prepared many surprises for hotheads in Azerbaijan

Expert: Defense capability of Armenian armed forces is much higher than offensive ability of Azerbaijan

Armenian FM: Armenia and Russia are unanimous that trial of the Gyumri murder case must be transparent

Political expert: Azeri provocations on the border occur following tragic events in Gyumri

Expert: Turkish president will not change his rhetoric on threshold of Centenary of Armenian Genocide

Edward Nalbandian: Doubts about Baku's reasonableness are growing with every passing day

SME representatives demand that Armenian Government should suspend Law "On Turnover Tax"

Three Azeri soldiers killed and two wounded as a result of ceasefire violation by Azerbaijan

Turcologist: No serious events in Armenia on threshold of Centenary of Armenian Genocide are observed yet

NATO plays no role in Karabakh conflict settlement but supports OSCE Minsk Group's efforts

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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