Newsfeed

Davutoglu says Ankara will do everything to end "occupation of Azerbaijani territories and Nagorno Karabakh"

President Bako Sahakyan addresses people on occasion of the Day of the Artsakh Republic

Armenian Center of Culture and Education in Israel to organize action demanding recognition and condemnation of Armenian Genocide

Armenia verifying reliability of the reports on an Armenian civilian's crossing the border with Azerbaijan

President of Armenia: Artsakh's independence - irreversible reality now

Nalbanian cannot say when Erdgoan will accept Serzh Sargsyan's invitation

Rostelecom announces new reduced tariffs starting 1 Sept 2014

VTB Bank (Armenia) funds repair and equipment of math classroom at secondary school No.21

Tickets of "Armenia" train running Yerevan-Batumi-Yerevan become cheaper

All outgoing calls to Beeline fixed-line network to cost 5 AMD per minute starting from 1 Sept 2014

Hakob Injighulyan is currently in Romania

Prime Minister of Georgia: Kazbegi Checkpoint on Georgian-Russian border will operate in limited emergency regime

Ilham Aliyev speaks of foreign forces' attempts to destabilize the political atmosphere in Azerbaijan

Armenian citizens' visa-free stay in Georgia to last 90 days within half a year

March of Peace, Unity and Solidarity in Yerevan

U.S. Embassy in Baku offers excuses: California Senate's decision does not represent national foreign policy

Eduard Sharmazanov: Robert Kocharyan said nothing new

A Radisson Hotel may open in Armenia

Armenia institutes a criminal case suggesting international terrorism over Azerbaijan's fire attacks on Armenian borderline villages

VTB Bank (Armenia) presents gifts to children of Full Life NGO's Inclusive Summer Camp

Azerbaijan transfers Hakob Injighulyan to a third country

Armenian analyst considers Edward Nalbandian's participation in Turkish president's swearing-in ceremony to be a diplomatic mistake

Union of Banks of Armenia hosts discussions on development problems of Armenia's financial and banking sector

Volunteers from the Diaspora visit VivaCell-MTS headquarters

Robert Kocharyan is not optimistic about prospects of final settlement of Karabakh conflict

Edward Nalbandian invites Erdogan to visit Armenia on 24 April 2015

Robert Kocharyan: The regime able to forget personal interests is doomed to success

Beeline cuts down tariffs for fixed-line telephony services

Expert: California Senate-adopted Resolution - AJR 32 is a response to Baku's blackmailing policy

Robert Kocharyan: It would be wrong thinking that Armenia's economy may gain from sanctions against Russia

Armenian Deputy Minister of Finance: The stadium will not pay off all debts of Armavia

Armenian Cause and Cyprus among key items on Ahmet Davutoglu's agenda

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank issues student loans within 15 minutes

SCR CJSC to attend sitting of Traffic Safety Committee of Council for Rail Transport in Minsk on Sept 2-3

Edward Nalbandian makes a statement on the Resolution of California Senate recognizing the Independence of Artsakh

Expert: Yerevan's refusal to participate in Turkish president's swearing-in ceremony could put international pressure on Armenia

David Babayan: Azerbaijan's stand on Yazidis of Iraq describes it as a Nazi country

David Babayan: Recognition of NKR's independence by California is equivalent to recognition by a big and influential state

Giorgi Gvimradze: In Tbilisi they take partnership with Ankara as part of European integration

ArmInfo’s Interview with Giorgi Gvimradze, expert at the Strategic Research Institute (Tbilisi)

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Tuesday, January 14, 18:24

During a conference in Yerevan, one of the Russian experts said in your presence that Russia would very soon “get direct communication with Armenia by taking up the matter of the South Ossetian borders with Georgia”. To what extent do such statements meet the recent trends in the Georgian-Russian relations?  

 Unfortunately, such statements are made quite often. In practice, however, such projects are unexecutable. Therefore, it would be wrong to comment on them. In fact, the Georgian-Russian relations are gradually improving.

 According to International Alert’s survey, the restoration of the Abkhazian railway will require $277.5 mln, which will pay off no in some 100 years. It is noteworthy that according to the official conclusions of Abkhazian experts, $350-400mln is needed, whereas Georgian experts think that the project will require no more than  $73 mln. What is your opinion about that? 

 I think we can spend $30 million needed for restoration of the Abkhazian railway section controlled by Georgia. In fact, according to the survey of International Alert, restoration of the railway through Ankhazia will bring no benefit. On the other hand, the project will be undoubtedly a positive one in the political sense, from the point of view of establishment of both Georgia-Abkhazia relations and Georgia-Russia relations. The government of Georgia has expressed readiness to discuss the issue on opening of the Abkhazian section of the railway. However, we still have no strict response of the Russian government on the matter. Meanwhile, as Russian experts say, Russia is very much interested in opening of the railway, but the government is still silent. As far as I know, our proposal was welcomed in Yerevan. But Abkhazia has certain concerns in the matter.

 Many people in Georgia blamed the former president Mikheil Saakashvili for his excessively pro-Turkish policy running counter to the Georgians’ interests. What trends do you observe in the Turkish vector of the new authorities’ policy?  

 In Tbilisi they take the partnership with Ankara as part of the European integration, as the new authorities of Georgia still seek integration with the West. Europe and USA are very important actors for Turks. Western sales markets are also important for Ankara. In this light, both Georgia and Tbilisi look at the West. It is important that we consider Turkey as a strategically important, serious economic partner. The transit gas and oil pipelines stretching along our territories give us a brilliant opportunity to have ties and, hence, relations with Europe. Many Turks live and have their own business in Tbilisi. In small Adjara their number has reached 25,000 people, which is a big percentage of the total population. At the same time, I am sure that the Georgians will be able to digest the number of Turks in case of a policy meeting the interests of the vast majority of the population of Georgia.

 For the moment, nearly 400,000 people live in Adjara, and 25% of them are Muslims. Around 40,000 Turkish citizens are at the same time citizens of Georgia due to Turkey’s economic expansion in Georgia and, first and foremost, in Adjara. Are the 0.5 mln Georgian Muslims a problem from the political point of view?     

 Indeed, almost 15% of the Georgian population is Muslims. However, they are not a political factor given their factionalism and low integration into the public and political life of Georgia. Muslims of Georgia are divided into different groups, religious currents. They are low educated and practically do not speak Georgian, staying aside from the public life in Georgia. Therefore, we do not take Turkey's activity as an expansion, despite regular statements of some experts on quite opposite trends.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields