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Edward Nalbandian: Armenia wants to start a dialogue on abolishment of visa regime with EU

Edward Nalbandian: Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia has been consistently proving its adherence to the principles of international law

No third tailing dump in Tukhmanuk

Edward Nalbandian: Turkey, which is striving to the EU, has shut down the border to the neighboring state, whereas a principle of free movement at the EU territory is one of the basic norms

Ali Hasanov: If international organizations can not resolve the conflict, let them step aside and the two neighboring states solve the problem themselves

Vladimir Dorokhin: None of the Azerbaijanis detained at the territory of Armenia are Russian citizens

"Mika cement" to replace owner

Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan: The Azerbaijani people do not believe the OSCE Minsk Group

OSCE representative concerned about Armenia court decision forcing media outlets to disclose sources

The NKR Minister of Foreign Affairs received the Head of the ICRC Mission in Nagorno-Karabakh

Members of Karabakh parliament made a statement to protect Levon Hayrapetyan

"Vallex" Group celebrates Miner's Day

Commandos: Levon Hayrapetyan's arrest is a result of hard work of Azerbaijani and Russian secret services

Ivan Kukhta: The government of Ukraine owns irrefutable evidence of separatists' blame for the crash of the Malaysian Boeing

According to the results of the first half of 2014, growth rates of Ameriabank's indices exceed average market level

ACBA-CREDIT ACRICOLE BANK and American Express have announced the launch of new card "The ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK American Express® Cash Back Card"

No visa regime between Georgia and Armenia

Vahagn Hovnanyan: It is necessary to hold a protest action in front Russia's Embassy in Armenia to support Levon Hayrapetyan

Political expert: Growth of tension at the border is a regular ill-fated expression of complexes by Azerbaijan

James Warlick: The number of incidents and resulting deaths and injuries is also a setback in our efforts to work with parties to find a lasting peace

Lake Sevan is on the verge of environmental disaster

Life of the three persons injured in Kashatagh as a result of a landmine explosion is out of danger

EU welcomes ruling of Turkish Constitutional Court regarding investigation into the 2007 murder of Turkish- Armenian journalist Hrant Dink

Armavir mayor's car explodes in mine-studded territory of Kashatagh

Newspaper: Armenian oligarch's company worked in the shadow

Nagorno-Karabakh Police publish details of the case of Azeri saboteurs

Eastern Partnership countries cannot join European Union within the next 5 years

Expert: Decision to increase water release from Lake Sevan to 270 mln cu m is a shady transaction

RESO Insurance Company compensates for damage under hull insurance in 90.9% of cases

VTB Bank (Armenia) and Visa announce the launch of Summer with VTB campaign

Orange Foundation opens a Youth center in Chinari and a computer center in Zorakan in Tavush region

ICRC Yerevan Office holds negotiations to organize a meeting with Azeris detained in Armenian territory

Hakob Sanasaryan: Armenia has chosen the path of destroying its water resources

ICRC Yerevan Office maintains regular contacts with residents of borderline villages

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group's profit increases by 56.1% and capital grows to 21.9 bln AMD

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: the authorities of Armenia are going to replace the "carrot" of the PAP by the "stick"

Ankara has put forward a plan to form a free trade zone with the Customs Union

Ankara's wish to create free trade zone with Customs Union has a dim prospect for Armenia

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: The delay of Armenia's joining Eurasian Economic Union is conditioned by the demand of the EAEU to set a check point at the border to Nagornyy Karabakh

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: The reaction of the Armenian party at the Azerbaijani invasions is quite guarded and inadequate

Sharmazanov to Ter-Petrosyan: It is unacceptable to speculate the Karabakh issue for the political goals

The Golden Apricot Yerevan 11th International Film Festival has come to its end, the official website reports

Rostelecom services available in the center of Yerevan

Regional

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Municipal Transport Drivers to Hold Protest Rally Throughout Georgia

The National Press Day

Saakashvili's Party States it is Important to Conduct the Second Round of Elections till July 19

Historical Changes Have Occurred in Georgia - President

Israeli Minister of Agriculture is Paying Official Visit to Georgia

Power Restrictions Imposed in Tbilisi since June 23, 2014

Ramadan begins on June 29

Azerbaijan's democratic forces calling for the Association with the EU

Georgian MFA Responds to U.S. Embassy's Statement, Connected with Incidents during Election Campaign

Georgian Ambassador Demands Explanations from Turkish MFA

Georgian Citizens Abroad not to Participate in Local Elections

Georgian President Delegates Prime Minister to Sign Associated Agreement

Georgian Leadership Welcomes Presidential Elections in Ukraine

We do not Need Saakashvili's Type Mediators in our Relations with Ukraine - Lavrov

Caucasian Muslims Department (CMD) opens an office in Iran, next will be Saudi Arabia

Poroshenko States he Has not Offered Georgian Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili Adviser's Post

Russia not to Punish Georgia for Signing Associated Agreement with EU-Kosachev

James Appathurai Writes about Georgia in his Page in Facebook

Blogger Abdul Abilov sentenced to five and a half years

Vugar Aliyev committed to strengthening the responsibility of Internet resources

Civil society urges Aliyev to defend democracy

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.

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