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British analyst: Oil will run out, Karabakh conflict will remain

Galust Sahakyan: Armenian Genocide International recognition process has entered a new phase

ANC calls on Armenian Parliament to take step for Founding Parliament Movement members to be set free

British expert: Baku has restricted the wide spectrum of cooperation of Armenian and Azeri NGOs to state- run process

Edward Nalbandian: International community speaking language incomprehensible to Turkey

Views from London: Ankara may recognize Armenian Genocide only if Turkish public demands it

Maria Gulegina visits Yerevan Brandy Company

Human rights organization thanks Nagorny Karabakh authorities for humane treatment of Azerbaijani saboteur

Six American States Adopting a Joint Resolution on Armenian Genocide Centennial

Political Analyst: Process of International Recognition of Armenian Genocide to be Expanded

Cem Terzi: Turkish Society Ripening for the Recognition of Armenian Genocide

Expert: April 24 Showing Scientific and Political Consensus on the Indisputability of the Armenian Genocide

U.S. State Department Representative Does not Know If the U.S. Fear Turkey

Mayor of New York commemorates centennial of Armenian Genocide - "one the worst atrocities of the 20th century"

European Movement adopts a resolution on Armenian Genocide

Ankara: Turkish nation will not forget and forgive Joachim Gauck's statements

Hollande and Aliyev discuss Karabakh conflict

Official Ankara criticizes Obama's stand on events of 1915

The Kremlin: Putin's participation in memorial events in Yerevan cannot be negatively interpreted by Ankara

Eiffel Tower and Coliseum went dark in memory of Armenian Genocide victims

Ankara strongly criticizes Francois Hollande's visit to Yerevan

Central Council of Jews in Germany advocates calling events of 1915 genocide

Ankara's Second Response to Putin's Statement on the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

Vladimir Putin: Armenia and Russia Have Always Been, Are and Will Be Close Allies

Knesset Member Criticizing Israeli Government for Denying Armenian Genocide

Georgian Armenians Demonstrating in Front of Turkish Embassy in Tbilisi

Canadian Prime Minister Calling upon Yerevan and Ankara to Resume Negotiations on Normalization of Relations

Serzh Sargsyan: Ankara made vein attempt to resist or affect larger process related to recognition of genocide

First Commemorative Demonstration on the Armenian Genocide to Take Place in Rome since 1975

Erdogan: Turkey shares Armenians' pain

President of Armenia: I refuse to believe that transitory interests can shatter humanity's dreams of freedom and peace cherished for centuries

Serzh Sargsyan: "Turkey's proposal of establishing the so-called commission of historians has only one goal, which is to delay the process of the Armenian Genocide recognition"

Turkey's Labor Party (EMEK) and some local human rights organizations condemn Genocide of Armenians

Russian expert: Putin's participation in Armenian Genocide Centennial events not to edit Moscow's geopolitical maneuvering

Vladimir Putin: 1.5 mln Armenians were killed, 600 thsd were deported, unique historical monuments and invaluable books and manuscripts were destroyed in 1915

Serzh Sargsyan: "We are ready to embark upon a constructive dialogue with Turkey in case it faces its own history"

Francois Hollande: World community must remember Genocide to prevent it in future

Serbia President: "We have no moral right to forget the Armenian Genocide victims and the shocking facts of the past"

ANCA: Sad spectacle of President Obama playing word games with genocide falls beneath dignity of American people

Foreign Minister of Armenia: German President's statement important contribution to prevention of new genocides

Serzh Sargsyan: Armenia has never declared any territorial claims either to Turkey, or to any other country

Armenian president's interview with Hurriyet: "Turkish authorities taking burden of responsibility for crime perpetrated by authorities of Ottoman Empire"

Presidents of Russia, France, Serbia, and Cyprus arrive at Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan

Google.am honors memory of Armenian Genocide victims

High-ranking representatives of various countries 'forming' a forget-me-not of peace near Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan

Serj Tankian calls on Armenia's leadership to create egalitarian civic society, to get rid of institutional injustices and stop depopulation of Armenia

Obama breaks his word again

Founding Parliament Movement looks to change power in Armenia

Vladimir Putin arrives in Yerevan to commemorate Armenian Genocide martyrs

Bulgarian MP: Bulgaria has refused to discuss the draft resolution on Armenian Genocide under Ankara's pressure

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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