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Minister: Inspections at ex-PAP leader's enterprises are still going on

Citizens of Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have the right to receive insurance benefits along with Russians

Baku: Azerbaijan expects EU to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions

Alliance Party comes out with public statement on crimes committed by Electric Networks of Armenia

EOC President: Presence of Armenia at inaugural European Games in Baku demonstrates how sport can give a lead to politicians

Elmar Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan will settle Nagorno Karabakh conflict in any case

Edward Nalbandian on Riga Summit: Armenia's Expectations Delivered

Aliyev: Azerbaijan Aspires to Resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in Accordance with International Law

Armed forces of Azerbaijan fired over 3,500 shots at Karabakh positions on May 17-23

Azeraijan's vetoing the Riga Summit declaration was a senseless and shortsighted step, Martin Schulz says

Russia and Azerbaijan to Discuss Settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Edward Nalbandian: Azerbaijan again Left Isolated in Respect of Support to the Mediation Efforts by the Co- Chairs of the Minsk Group

Armenian National Congress calls on the citizens to join the campaign against rising energy costs on May 27

Armenia's simultaneous cooperation with NATO and CSTO creates no problems, a German official says

Orange Foundation continues community development projects in Syunik region

"Rusastanyan 20" and "Rusastanyan 35" Beeline services available for postpaid subscribers

American Congressman: Menace of Terrorism and Radical Islam might Unite Armenians and Azerbaijani

Diplomatic source: Final declaration of Riga summit should be a consensus document that would refer to the views of Armenia and Belarus

"No to Robbery" to hold a motor rally on May 23

Belgian prime minister says Armenian Genocide did happen and no one in Belgium thinks differently about it

VTB Bank (Armenia) offers "Super-rate" offer - conscientious borrowers regain 10% of the loan interest paid

"Eastern Partnership" Declaration Unanimously Adopted with only UN Countries Endorsing the Wording on "Annexation of Crimea"

Latvian FM says Armenia and Azerbaijan can claim visa liberalization with EU, if they meet all the necessary requirements

European Commissioner: Cross-border cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan to open up new opportunities for Karabakh conflict settlement

OSCE Planned Monitoring: Azerbaijan fails to lead monitoring mission to frontline

William Lahue: NATO's Cooperation with Partners not Against Russia's Interests

ESCAP Forecasts 0.9% Growth of Armenia's Economy and 4.7% of Inflation

President of Armenia: Nagorno Karabakh has no relation whatsoever to Azerbaijan's territorial integrity

Conditioned by Wording on Artsakh Azerbaijan Refused to Sign "Eastern Partnership" Declaration

Ara Nranyan stresses the need to avoid unreasonable stimulation of import and regressive closure of markets

The Number of Operating Air Carriers in Armenia Decreased from 35 to 27 since the "Open Skies" Policy Implementation

30 people interrogated under case of attempted assassination of Syunik Governor

Edward Sharmazanov: Genocide of Armenians, Pontics and Assyrians is a Disgraceful Page of Human History

Armenian-German Forum has been Launched in Bundestag

Ashot Ghulyan Re-elected as Speaker pf Artsakh Parliament

South Caucasus Railway launches sale of Yerevan-Batumi-Yerevan tickets

Businessman Tigran Karapetyan to Bring Suit against Adviser to Syunik Governor for Slander

Azerbaijan Trying to Hinder the NATO Seminar in Yerevan

Armenian Government Endorsing a Draft Document with Microsoft

German Chancellor says Germany respects Armenia's point-of-view

Human rights defender: To fight tortures of suspects, legislative reform is needed in Armenia

Polish MP says friendly relations with Armenia have always been important to Poland

Oppositionist slams Prosecutor General for concealing Syunik Governor's crimes

Armenian delegation participates in NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels

European Organizations to Allocate about 8.07 Mln EUR to Armenia for Garbage Collection

Reuters: As Armenia and Belarus refuse to sign up the statement on Crimea, EU diplomats say compromise text would be put to them

Dunja Mijatovic: In Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus freedom of media under threat

Shootings Towards Syunik Governor's Car

On May 21 Serzh Sargsyan Will Leave for Latvia to Participate in the Riga Summit

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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