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Armenian Georgian Relations

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  • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

    Georgia turning to the east? the relationship with Russia was warming up nicely before the Ukraine mess. Maybe Georgia has seen in ukraine what awaits them with tempting Russia. Very few things would help Armenia more than Georgia and Russia opening up relations and that Georgian-Abkhaz railway opening up
    <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


    • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

      Georgian President Urges Lawmakers To 'Unite' On European Path

      By RFE/RL's Georgian Service

      Last updated (GMT/UTC): 14.11.2014 12:41

      TBILISI -- Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has warned lawmakers that the country is in political crisis and called on parliament to "unite on the path toward Europe."

      Addressing parliament on November 14, Margvelashvili said the recent departure of three cabinet ministers responsible for closer integration with the EU and NATO raised serious questions at home and abroad about Georgia's future.

      In veiled criticism of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili's government, he said he had "noted many times in recent years that disrespect for institutions and neglect of the principles of checks and balances would create difficulties for the state system. And that has happened."

      Garibashvili sacked Defense Minister Irakli Alasania on November 4, after Alasania condemned a series of arrests and charges against military officers as a politically motivated "attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice."

      Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Minister Aleksi Petriashvili quit after Alasania's dismissal.

      The three had represented the most vocal camp within the ruling Georgian Dream coalition for rapidly forging closer ties with NATO and the EU.

      Margvelashvili suggested that the government must back up stated hopes for closer "Euroatlantic" integration with adherence to democratic principles, saying that "one can't sit on two chairs simultaneously -- one cannot make declarations about European goals while at the same time building a different style of state."

      He cited former President Mikheil Saakashvili's years in office -- during which the pro-Western leader implemented reforms but faced increasing allegations of authoritarian rule from his opponents -- as an example of what can happen in such situations.

      "Saakashvili was the most vocal speaker of 'Westernization,' but after he decided to build an undemocratic state that has nothing to do with the West, he suffered a failure," Margvelashvili said.

      He said Garibashvili's government is facing a higher bar for meeting democratic standards than its predecessor.

      Saakashvili's long-ruling party was ousted from power by tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition in October 2012 parliamentary elections, and Ivanishvili named Garibashvili to succeed him as prime minister last year.

      Alasania’s dismissal opened the biggest rift yet in Georgian Dream, prompting the exit of his Free Democrats party from the coalition.

      On November 8, Alasania was elected chairman of the Free Democrats -- which he founded -- and said that the party hopes to "celebrate victory" in a 2016 parliamentary election.

      The ruling coalition still has a majority in parliament, however, because 12 former Saakashvili allies joined Georgian Dream on November 10, giving it 87 seats in the 150-seat legislature.
      <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


      • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

        Georgians protest against Russia-Abkhazia agreement

        15 November 2014

        Tens of thousands of Georgians have rallied in the capital Tbilisi against a planned agreement between Russia and Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region.

        The deal would create joint Russian and Abkhazian military forces.

        Saturday's protest was organised by Georgia's main opposition party, the United National Movement.

        Abkhazia declared independence in 1999 following a separatist war. In 2008, Russia formally recognised the province's autonomy.

        Demonstrators, who believe Russia is taking steps to annex Abkhazia, carried Georgian and EU flags and chanted "stop Russia" and "stop Putin".

        Others waved Ukraine flags, a reminder of Russia's decision to takeover Crimea and support separatist rebels in Ukraine's east.
        'Trailing the bear'
        People shout slogans during an opposition in Tbilisi, Georgia on 15 November 2014 Protesters fear that Russia wants to annexe Abkhazia as it did Crimea

        "We have to raise our voice by saying that today, together with Ukraine, Russia is annexing Abkhazia and South Ossetia," said Georgian MP David Bakradze.

        "And our international partners, the whole world has to defend international law here in Georgia, not only in Ukraine."

        The United National Movement, led by former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, has been in opposition since 2012.

        On Saturday Mr Saakashvili said the Georgian government was "bowing its head and trailing the [Russian] bear".

        "We should show the government that our nation is united, even when it faces a big threat, and when it's about our freedom, future and independence," he told the crowd via video link from Ukraine's capital Kiev.

        On Friday Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said he was aware of the threat posed by Russia and Abkhazia's agreement.

        Russia recognised Abkhazia's independence after a five-day war with Georgia in 2008 when it helped the separatist region of South Ossetia breakaway from Georgia.
        __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

        I don't know what Russia's end game is in the Abkhazia agreements
        They already got everything they could want with Georgia in terms of sending a message, keeping out the West, and now a moderate government. This seems to be playing into UNM hands. The only logic I can see is them using annexation as a threat to Georgia's UN association agreement
        <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


        • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

          Originally posted by Mher View Post
          Georgians protest against Russia-Abkhazia agreement

          15 November 2014


          The United National Movement, led by former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, has been in opposition since 2012.


          __________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

          I don't know what Russia's end game is in the Abkhazia agreements
          They already got everything they could want with Georgia in terms of sending a message, keeping out the West, and now a moderate government. This seems to be playing into UNM hands. The only logic I can see is them using annexation as a threat to Georgia's UN association agreement
          Just for the record ....

          Mr. Saakashvili is in self-imposed exile on North Seventh Street — plotting a triumphant return,
          even as his steep fall from grace serves as a cautionary tale to the many American government officials
          who had hoped he would be a model exporter of democracy to former Soviet republics.

          Since leaving office last November, this George W. Bush favorite — whose confrontation with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia
          led to a disastrous war in 2008 — has commandeered his uncle’s apartment in a tower on the Williamsburg waterfront,
          where he luxuriates in the neighborhood’s time-honored tradition of mysteriously sourced wealth.
          When not lingering in cafes, riding his bike across the bridge or spending stag evenings with friends on the Wythe Hotel rooftop,
          Mr. Saakashvili seizes on the Ukrainian conflict and his experience with Mr. Putin’s wrath as a lifeline back to political relevance.
          Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
          Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
          Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


          • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

            Georgian Lari has lost about another 10% of its value in the past few days. It has now lost a total of 25% of its value from around 1.75 GEL/USD in November, to 2.18 GEL/USD today. The country has cut target annual GDP growth rate from 5% to 1.5-3%

            Georgian government’s economy experts gather as lari continues to fall
            <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


            • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

              The Georgians seem to be very good at digging their own graves..

              Tbilisi: Some 3,000 People In Javakheti Have Been Stripped Of Georgian Citizenship.
              •From: Katia Peltekian <[email protected]>
              •Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:00:24 +0000 (UTC)


              Rezonansi (in Georgian), Georgia
              Feb 2 2015

              Arnold Stepanyan: No-one should be surprised then if some provocation

              by Taia Ardoteli

              "For approximately five or six months now, the Georgian authorities
              have been deporting Armenian residents from Javakheti and stripping
              them of their citizenship. A few thousand people have now been stripped
              of their citizenship, while a few dozen citizens have been deported.

              "I have addressed the diplomatic corps, US Embassy representatives,
              the Georgian president and prime minister, and Justice Ministry
              representatives over this matter and I have even filed an appeal
              with the court but it is as if nothing has happened," Free Georgia
              [opposition] party leader Kakha Kukava said in conversation with

              Mteli Kvira [Rezonansi Monday edition] tried to determine whether
              this information is true and what the situation in Javakheti is like
              in reality.

              Arnold Stepanyan, head of the Multinational Georgia national civil
              movement, said that this process has been taking place in Javakheti
              for about five months now and that 2,000-3,000 ethnic Armenians have
              been stripped of Georgian citizenship as part of it. The fact that
              they were also citizens of another country was the reason for this.

              "They were mostly Armenian and Russian citizens, some 2,000-3,000
              people, who have now had their Georgian citizenship revoked. They
              cannot stay in Georgia for more than 90 days after losing their
              citizenship, which creates a very difficult situation for those
              people whose homes are in Georgia or for those who have to leave
              their families here.

              "On the other hand, the state has been taking some effective steps
              for the past month.

              "Specifically, they are talking about issuing residence permits. They
              are now giving these citizens residence permits relatively easily and
              one could say that the government has eased the situation somewhat
              in this way.

              "Given that both the previous and the current government knew what
              the situation in Javakheti was like, I do not understand why they
              deemed it necessary to do this now. I believe that we are either
              dealing with a deliberate action by amateurs or sabotage inside the
              government in order to create additional risks in the region.

              "As for deportation, there has been no mass deportation. No one is
              walking into the people's homes and telling them that they have to be
              deported for violating the passport regulations. There have been cases
              where people were prompted to leave the country: They were advised
              to do so. Many of them have obeyed the law and left the country now
              but there are also many who have not left Georgia and one could say
              that they remain in the country illegally. We need to ask those who
              initiated this action why we created this headache for ourselves,"
              Arnold Stepanyan told Mteli Kvira.

              As for the procedure of stripping them of Georgian citizenship,
              Stepanyan said that they used an incorrect and bad procedure to
              determine who held dual citizenship.

              "Customs officers were informally asking the people who were coming
              to Georgia or leaving the country. For example, if a person was
              entering the country with a Georgian passport, they would say: 'Why
              do you need a Georgian passport? You have an Armenian or a Russian
              passport, do you not? You can use it to cross the border because
              it is easier.' On the other hand, when someone was entering with an
              Armenian or a Russian passport, they would say: 'You should use the
              Georgian passport because you have a Georgian passport, do you not?'

              "A lot of people believed them and showed them the other passport.

              Customs then sent the information to the central authorities and those
              people later received an official notice from the Justice Ministry -
              a letter which said that they could no longer be Georgian citizens
              since they were citizens of another country," Stepanyan said.

              During our conversation, he also touched on the problem of integration
              of citizens who are ethnic Armenians and spoke about the threats that
              stripping them of their citizenship could create.

              "These people have not been integrated during this period of time and
              they do not know well what is happening in Georgia. Unfortunately,
              despite the fact that the current government promised to change the
              approach before the elections, I would find it difficult to speak of
              any progress so far.

              "Certain groups that do not want Georgia to become part of Europe are
              disseminating information and creating a stereotype among Javakheti's
              population whereby Europe is demanding the tightening of the passport
              regulations in Georgia as we are moving closer to Europe and discussing
              the Association Agreement and visa liberalization matters.

              "The population of Javakheti does not live in the Georgian information
              space and they mostly receive their information from the Russian or
              the Armenian media. And they cannot learn anything good about Europe
              from the Russian media. Obviously, it is even easy to create certain
              hotbeds of provocation in Javakheti.

              "Certainly, the situation will not be better than it was half a
              year ago following the Georgian Government's actions. Thousands of
              people are angry with Georgia because they were stripped of their
              citizenship. No one should therefore be surprised if some provocations
              occur in Javakheti," Stepanyan noted.

              Soso Giorgadze, head of the Citizenship and Migration Service at the
              National Agency for Development of State Services, told Mteli Kvira
              that the information that a large number of people have been stripped
              of Georgian citizenship is not true.

              They said at the agency that there could have been a few cases but
              they did not answer our question as to whether there have been any
              cases of revocation of citizenship in the recent period of time -
              for example, over the last five months - and how many.

              "I would categorically rule out the possibility that thousands of
              people have been stripped of their citizenship or have received an
              official notice about this in Javakheti or any other Georgian region
              over the last few months.

              "Generally, Georgia has established the principle of single
              citizenship, which means that a person could lose Georgian citizenship
              if he or she becomes the citizen of another country and voluntarily
              acquires another country's citizenship.

              "Our service does not gather information proactively. We only start
              the proceedings for revocation of citizenship if a citizen states in
              some state agency that he or she has become another country's citizen
              and presents a document that proves another country's citizenship or
              uses it in paperwork at some level. Only in that case do we start
              the proceedings. The president makes the final decision on this,"
              Giorgadze said.

              He also explained that an 80-day period is allocated for the
              revocation of Georgian citizenship. As soon as the agency receives
              information that the person in question has presented a document which
              proves acquisition of another country's citizenship, proceedings for
              revocation of Georgian citizenship begin and, as a matter of priority,
              the person involved in the proceedings receives an official notice.

              During these 80 days, along with the proceedings, the law allows the
              citizen to present a document containing different information if he
              or she believes that the agency has received incorrect information,
              so the citizen is involved in this process. Finally, after 80 days,
              the Georgian president should make a decision on revoking citizenship.

              According to expert Archil Gamzardia, revoking citizenship is such
              a complex procedure that it cannot be done so easily, so probably
              concrete evidence needs to be presented that such actions did in fact
              take place in Javakheti.

              "I still believe that this could be false information disseminated by
              a certain group operating there, although this is only my hypothetical
              assumption. If it does prove to be true that they left thousands of
              people without citizenship and are now pretending that nothing has
              happened, it is a very serious matter," Gamzardia told Mteli Kvira.

              According to political analyst Soso Tsintsadze, if this is true and
              thousands of citizens of another country live in Javakheti today,
              those people could become a delayed-action mine for the Georgian state.

              "This is the first time that I am hearing something like this.

              Something else has to be the case because 2,000-3,000 people is too
              many. Not everything that Stepanyan says is trustworthy. As for the
              threats, Javakheti is a problematic region in any case. I remember
              the situation in the early 1990s when representatives of our state
              structures could not go there.

              "It is a delicate matter and requires a cautious approach. If those
              people were in fact stripped of Georgian citizenship, they should have
              explained the situation to them in advance and given them a choice.

              They should have had a chance to freely choose whether they preferred
              Georgian or Russian citizenship.

              "As for the reports that the people who hold Armenian and Russian
              citizenship have been stripped of Georgian citizenship, does this mean
              that there is a large number of Russian citizens living on Georgian
              territory and our government is observing this calmly? I consider the
              presence of thousands of Russian citizens on Georgian territory very
              dangerous because several of Russia's doctrines directly provide
              for the deployment of their troops for the protection of their
              citizens. A minor provocation in which some ethnic Armenian with
              Russian citizenship is harmed would be enough to provide Russia with
              a legitimate right to send troops there to protect its citizens,"
              Tsintsadze said.

              [Groong note: the above was translated from Georgian]
              Hayastan or Bust.


              • Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

                Still no answer to Georgia’s request to Azerbaijan regarding Saakashvili

                TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office told DF Watch that they still haven’t received a response from Azerbaijan to a request to extradite former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

                Last week, Saakashvili visited Baku to participate in a political forum, and while there, met with President Aliyev.

                Azerbaijani media reported that Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office had asked Azerbaijan to detain Saakashvili, but that the request was rejected. It was only after these media reports that the chief Georgian prosecutor confirmed there had been made such a request, but the statement said no answer had been received.

                The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia also said to DFWatch that it didn’t plan to make a statement on this issue.

                It is not clear if the office is planning to pursue the matter, now that it seems their request is being ignored by a country with which Georgia has friendly relations. Usually when one state asks the other to detain a certain person, either the request is carried out, or a proper explanation is given.

                Saakashvili is now an adviser to the president of Ukraine, which was his formal role at the Baku conference. Georgia has asked Ukraine to extradite him, but he is not wanted through Interpol.

                A few weeks ago, Interpol revoked a red alert for the detention of Zurab Adeishvili, Saakashvili’s former justice minister. Adeishvili is helping Ukraine’s new government with reforms.

                Several other states have rejected Georgia’s extradition requests for former officials, most recently former counterintelligence chief Data Akhalaia, who is in Greece. Interpol has a red alert out calling for his apprehension.

                <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>