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Armenian President visits Teghut copper and molybdenum mine

Armenian PM: Support of business will be a top priority for us

Well-known French filmmaker Robert Gedikian shoots film about Armenian Genocide

Newspaper: Armenian Government to shortly ease tax burden on SMEs

Newspaper: Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan will shortly urge officials and parliamentarians to refuse from salary increase

David Haroutiunyan appointed as Government Chief of Staff

VTB Bank (Armenia) increases corporative crediting almost by 40% in 2013

VTB Bank (Armenia) is the leader on credit portfolio in the banking sector of Armenia

VTB Bank (Armenia) increases car loan portfolio by over 70% due to retail lending facilitation

VTB Bank (Armenia) and MasterCard launch a new card campaign

VTB Bank (Armenia) among top 3 Armenian banks in terms of retail business

"I'm Against" civic initiative refuses to start negotiations with Prime Minister

Hovik Abrahamyan promises to present an acceptable solution to the pension problem before late July

Armenia not to sign agreement to access Customs Union in 29 April in Minsk

European parliamentarian sees no obstacles to signing the political component of the Association Agreement with Armenia

European Parliament condemns attack against Kessab

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group offers discounts and free of charge cards ahead of holiday season

Republican Party of Armenia to be the only party in power in Armenia

Beeline and SPB TV launch IPTV in Armenia

VTB Bank (Armenia) launches deposit action

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Upgraded offices of VTB bank (Armenia) in Gegarkunik region start working in a new format

Hovik Abrahamyan: Government of Armenia intends to form a favorable tax system for development of small and medium enterprises

On Apr 29 Armenia to sign agreement on joining Customs Union

Environmentalists launch campaign to save Lake Sevan

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Member of the parliament: RPA may alone take responsibility

ARFD not to join ruling coalition

David Babayan: Elmar Mammadyarov's last statement about Azerbaijan's readiness to grant Nagorno-Karabakh autonomy was absurd

Press-secretary: Prosperous Armenia Party will go on watching further actions by the Orinats Yerkir Party (Law Governed Country Party)

Political expert: The statement by US ambassador to Azerbaijan is a result of Armenia's voting on the Crimea

ArmenTel's subscribers to shortly enjoy IP television

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Politician: "Republican Party of Armenia deporting Armenians from their motherland"

In corporate strategy for 2014 Araratbank gives special priority to activities of businesswomen

Rostelecom provides a number of educational establishments in Abovyan with free superhigh- speed Internet services starting from March 1

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MasterCard holders among VTB Group's Armenian customers can withdraw cash from VTB Group's ATM network at the same tariffs as at VTB Bank (Armenia)

Orange offers an innovative solution for internet and fixed phone services

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Political expert rules out an external factor in Tigran Sargsyan's resignation

Edward Nalbandian and Seyran Ohanyan reappointed

Armenian political expert skeptical about viability of "the union of the four"

Regional

Vice-Speaker of Israeli Knesset to Deliver in Tbilisi Lecture on Israeli-Arabic Relations

German Chancellor Invites Garibashvili to Visit her Country

Georgian Foreign Minister to Visit Germany

Georgian Foreign Minister Attends International Conference in Vilnius

President to Have Exclusive Right to Grant Georgian Citizenship

NATO Week in Georgia Starts Today

Discussion of the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations on Culture and Tourism

Chief of General Staff of the RF to visit Baku

Ilham Aliyev will visit NAR

Georgian Premier Starts his Regional Tour

Georgian President to Hold Talks in Poland

Georgian Prime Minister Meets with EU Special Adviser

Erdogan is arriving in Baku

Simplification of the visa regime between the EU and Azerbaijan may occur in the summer

U.S. Embassy: Any allegations that US government representatives are trying to foment a revolution in Azerbaijan are absolutely absurd

Foreign Minister of Afghanistan to Pay Official Visit to Georgia

Georgian Foreign Ministry Makes Strict Statement, Concerning Referendum in the Crimea

President Margvelashvili Meets Georgian Troops, Deployed in Afghanistan

Georgian Premier and Afghan Foreign Minister Discuss Two Countries' Relations

Georgian Premier Holds Official Dinner in Honor of Romanian Prime Minister

Analyst: The USA invested $5 billion to directly support Maidan

Georgian Ambassador to Japan Hands over Credentials to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan.

Tbilisi Hosts Annual PDP Conference

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Georgian Ambassador to Lithuania Addresses Seimas

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister in Baku

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Georgian Defence Minister Attends NATO Defence Ministerial

Saakashvili is Offered High Post in Kiev

Exclusive

Vahe Hakobyan: Investments must create jobs

Sergey Markedonov: People living in Crimea and Karabakh saw no future for the countries they were attached to

Vahram Avanesyan: It is impossible to achieve serious results by means of standard and framework reforms

Wayne Merry: Situation around Ukraine is a serious alarm that the South Caucasus political nucleus must be seriously revised

Dariusz Prasek: EBRD demands absolute transparency from companies

Sargis Hatspanyan: When it comes to the change of regime in Armenia, the West washes hands of it

Andrey Yepivantsev: Only time may show if we have opened Pandora's box in the Crimea or not

Giorgi Tarkhan-Mouravi: Confrontation around the Crimea will speed up Ukraine's European integration

Ivan Kukhta: Ukraine has received a chance to be totally reset

Vaidotas Verba: Eastern Partnership project is not directed against anybody, it is simply for open opportunities

Vladimir Yevseev: The only way out of the situation in Ukraine for the West is through negotiations with Russia

Edward Sharmazanov: The principle of peoples’ right to self-determination tends to dominate in the world

Gevorg Poghosyan: Armenia is on an explosive-timing device and may explode at any moment

Sergey Grinyayev: Armenia has just to realize its status of an essential partner for Russia

Grigory Tishchenko: Strengthening of Russia’s positions in the South Caucasus will contribute to peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Artak Shakaryan: Armenia and Diaspora should be ready for Turkey’s imitative policy in the matter of Armenian Genocide recognition

Hovhannes Igityan: Only reason why they 'invited' Armenia into the Customs Union was to show Europe who wears the pants in the post-Soviet area

Alexander Voronin: ANELIK has almost 20% of all money transfers in the CIS

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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