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Armenian Georgian Relations

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  • Mher
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Haykakan
    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]

    Leave a comment:

  • Mher
    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

    Leave a comment:

  • londontsi
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mher
    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

    Leave a comment:

  • Mher
    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.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mher
    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

    Leave a comment:

  • Haykakan
    Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

    Interesting developments going on in our neighboring country.


    12:28, 05 Nov 2014

    Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili fired his defence minister
    on Tuesday hours after he criticised the arrests of several officials
    in his ministry as politically motivated and aimed at those who favour
    better relations with the West, Reuters reports.

    Alasania, one of the most pro-Western and most popular ministers,
    had earlier denounced the detention of one former and four serving
    ministry officials last week, as well as new charges filed against
    several army medical officers on Tuesday.

    "I want to unambiguously state that this is obviously politically
    motivated," he told reporters.

    "I want to clearly state that this is an attack on Georgia's
    Euro-Atlantic choice," he said, referring to Georgia's stated interest
    in joining NATO and its recent trade deal with the European Union.

    "This is an attack on the structure, which ... is distinguished by
    its successful reforms and is distinguished on the path of achieving
    this foreign policy goal," he said.

    Garibashvili called Alasania's remarks "irresponsible."

    "Instead of contributing to the investigation in order to help
    establish objective truth in the case, Irakly Alasania's actions
    are causing a politicisation of the defence ministry and of the
    armed forces, which is categorically inadmissible for me and which
    negatively affects our country's security and the efficiency of the
    government's work," Garibashvili said.

    Alexy Petriashvili, State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic
    Integration and also from the Free Democrats, said after the
    announcement he would tender his resignation by letter to Garibashvili
    on Wednesday.

    Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, has filed her resignation on
    November 5 a day after PM Irakli Garibashvili sacked Defense Minister
    Irakli Alasania, which was then also followed by stepping down of State
    Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili, reports.

    First Deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani, who was also
    Georgia's chief negotiator in the Geneva talks, has also announced
    about resignation; Zalkaliani is a member of Alasania's Free Democrats
    party. Three other deputies of foreign minister - Tamar Beruchashvili;
    Davit Jalagania and Vladimer Gurgenidze - are also stepping down,
    Panjikidze said.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mher
    Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

    Russia’s Back Road to Georgia: To Trade or Invade?
    October 17, 2014 - 11:18am, by Giorgi Lomsadze

    Russia wants to revive a tsarist-era project for building a new road to Georgia, but Georgians remain uncertain about whether the intention has to do with transit for trade or tanks or both.

    The topic was slotted for further discussion at a routine, October-16 meeting in Prague between Georgian and Russian officials, but details have not emerged.

    The road, which would run from the restive Russian republic of Daghestan to Georgia’s Kakheti region, is meant as an alternative to the only fully functional road link between Georgia and Russia, known by its unfortunate historical name, the Georgian Military Highway.

    The highway, at times barely two lanes, winds north through canyons and towering mountains in eastern Georgia, and is highly susceptible to the elements. Heavy snowfalls and landslides often block the road, leaving trucks queuing for weeks before they can go through.

    To the west, there are two crossings into breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both of these passages are outside Tbilisi’s control and remain closed to international traffic.

    Increased transit would bring more income for Georgia’s lackluster economy, and especially for Russian ally Armenia, which heavily relies on exports to Russia. But many Georgians have qualms about giving their enemy number-one more options to roll in the tanks should the 2008 war repeat itself. Particularly in the wake of the uproar over the proposed Abkhazia-Russia treaty.

    The fact that several months before the 2008 invasion, then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Daghestan and called for construction of this same road as another corridor to Georgia has offered little reassurance on this front.

    After all, as Crimea and eastern Ukraine have gone to prove, Moscow is in an expansive mood these days.

    So far, though, no official Georgian government discussion of the road-proposal has been held, Rustavi2 reported, but some indications suggest that all are not of one mind.

    While the economy ministry mentions the need for an “alternative” road, the defense ministry intends to hold off on pinpointing its position until the matter is raised for discussion.

    Meanwhile, Moscow has been hyping the idea, with the Kremlin’s point man for talks with Georgia, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, speaking about the plans to Georgian journalists during their recent show-and-tell tour to Russia.

    Georgia’s National Security Council Deputy Secretary Ivliane Khaindrava, however, has dismissed any qualms about the road, saying it’s a “soft-power” project for the Kremlin.

    “Russian military bases are both in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali [South Ossetia], they have tanks and rockets there, and there in another base in the South [Armenia], and this is more than they need for a military aggression,” Khaindrava said, reported.

    Why Georgia would want to assist such a “soft-power” project is not clear. Khaindrava added, however, that careful consideration of the project is due.

    Leave a comment:

  • Vrej1915
    Re: Armenian Georgian Relations

    Սահակաշվիլիի հրաժեշի ուղերձը ժողովրդին. "Ռուսաստանի գործակալներին թույլ չտաք վերադառնալ մեր տարածք..."

    "Ինքս հանգստի կարիք չունեմ, բայց եկել է ժամանակը, որ դուք հանգստանաք ինձանից",- Վրաստանի նախագահ Միխայիլ Սահակաշվիլին Հավլաբարում գտնվող նախագահի նստավայրից իր վերջին՝ 40 րոպե տեւողությամբ հեռուստաուղերձն է հղել երկրի քաղաքացիներին:
    Նա ներողություն է խնդրել բոլոր նրանցից, ովքեր իր իշխանության ժամանակ անարդարության զոհ են դարձել: Սահակաշվիլիի խոսքով, անկախ սխալներից եւ թերություններից, իր պաշտոնավարումը հույս է ներշնչել, ստեղծել է հայրենասիրության նոր ձեւ եւ վերականգնել է ազգային հպարտությունը, որը վաղուց կորել էր:
    Իր եւ իր վարչակազմի մասին խոսելիս` Սահակաշվիլին նշել է. "Մենք անհամբեր էինք եւ հաճախ՝ չափազանց խիստ":
    Մինչ նստավայրը լքելը եւ Եվրոպա ուղեւորվելը Վրաստանի արդեն նախկին նախագահը նաեւ իր հորդորն է փոխանցել վրաց ժողովրդին. "Խնդրում եմ ձեզ՝ ոչ մեկին թույլ չտաք զոհաբերել մեր ինքնիշխանությունը, Ռուսաստանի գործակալներին թույլ չտաք վերադառնալ մեր տարածք, երբեք չհրաժարվեք ՆԱՏՕ-ից եւ Եվրամիությունից":
    "2004-ին, երբ ոտք դրեցի նախորդ նախագահի աշխատասենյակ, առաջինն ուշադրությունս գրավեց ջրով լի տակառը: Պարզվեց, որ նույնիսկ երկրի նախագահի նստավայրում ջրամատակարարումը երբեմն դադարեցվում է: Կար նաեւ մի դիզելային գեներատոր, որովհետեւ հաճախ անջատվում էր նաեւ լույսը: Եվ այս ամենից բացի, նախագահի աշխատասենյակում մի կատու էր ապրում, որին պահում էին նախագահականում վխտացող առնետներին ու մկներին որսալու համար: Իսկ այսօր՝ մեկ տասնամյակ անց, մեր կառավարության անդամներն ու նախագահը միանգամայն այլ աշխատասենյակներից բացի, բոլորովին այլ պետություն են ղեկավարում",- ասել է Սահակաշվիլին:

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