Tbilisi’s double-headed game

Tbilisi’s double-headed game

23 May 2018, 18:34 729
Another meeting between Russian and Georgian officials Grigori Karasin and Georgi Abashidze is scheduled to take place in Prague where they will discuss the launch of a railway that would pass through the territory of Abkhazia. In 2011, a contract was signed with Swiss company "SGS” to conduct impartial monitoring of the cargo intended to be delivered through Abkhazia. But Russia would insist that South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whom it recognizes as independent states, also sign the document and demanded that customs posts be placed between separatist bodies and Georgia. But Georgia rejected this offer. Thus, they were unable to execute the agreement. However, the fact that they are holding talks once again seems to indicate that they may have changed their mind. Azerbaijan is closely following the launching of the railway. Because, this railway will connect Armenia to Russia and would serve as an air hole for the occupier state. This railway may lead to the expansion of Armenia’s economic opportunities and increase in its export potential. 

MP and political analyst Rasim Musabeyov told "Kaspi’ that the intended May 24 meeting between Russia and Georgia on the issue of Abkhazia railway doesn’t necessarily mean that this railway would be launched: "The issue is that they will be working with a Swiss company. Georgia does not recognize Abkhazia and does not permit customs work to be conducted in that area. Now they have come to an agreement that a Swiss company would do registration there. They would register what would go through the customs. Russia will be overseeing this work on both Ossetian and Abkhazian borders. But then, there’s the issue of crossing from Georgia to Abkhazia. These issues need to be resolved”. 

Musabeyov added that the railway traveling to Abkhazia from Georgia is in a terrible condition and it has not been repaired: "Thus, it is an exaggeration to say that there would be an agreement between two countries and cargoes from Armenia would be delivered to Russia through Georgia. They have a formal decision for now that states that the Swiss company would conduct monitoring. Whether this company will oversee these things and what would come of it is a concern for later”. 

Political analyst Tofig Abbasov stated that all of these issues have geopolitical aspects: "Georgia is a country who suffers from military aggression, separatism. Georgia is coming to an agreement with Armenia behind Azerbaijan’s back and allows the aggressive, occupying country to deliver its goods. This creates a huge problem in Azerbaijan-Georgia relations. Georgia owes to Azerbaijan, not only monetarily but also spiritually, so they must favor Azerbaijan in their policies. It’s because Georgia broadens its opportunities with the help of Azerbaijan, increases its revenues and participates in large scale projects. Under these circumstances, it makes no sense for Georgia to sign a treaty with Armenia and harm the interest of Azerbaijan. I think Tbilisi is playing a double-headed game and this might harm them in the end”. 

According to Abbasov, Armenia is trying its best to avoid talks with Azerbaijan: "They are trying to negatively affect the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As a new prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan is already making threats against Azerbaijan. But on one hand, he says that they are ready for talks with Turkey and we have no other conditions. On the other hand, they are trying to improve the grave economic conditions with the help of Georgia. All of this shows that Armenians are looking for a solution by waging a war, making new territorial claims and avoiding talks. One thing here is interesting. Turkey and Azerbaijan truly have a coordinated path and they have closed their border to Armenia. But Armenia is not under blockade. They have access to Iran and Georgia. This alone shows the importance of Azerbaijan and Turkey. 

If the poor and miserable Armenian population wants to live a normal life, they should be friendly with Azerbaijan and Turkey. They should be active in the neighborhood policy. If two neighbors close their borders on you and turn their back to you, and your country does not abandon the occupation policy, then it becomes clear what the role and essence of the Armenians are in the region. Armenia wants to get out of this situation through fraudulent means, to get new lines of communications at any cost, to gain access to the occupied South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to deliver its goods to both the world and the Russian markets. They want to get new opportunities for import. This shows that the policy of the occupying country is inaccurate, dangerous and threatening. Azerbaijan will never reconcile with that. That is precisely why Georgia's role here is destructive. Because Georgia knows very well that Azerbaijan is exerting pressure on Armenia and our country has the right to do so. Georgia justifies its actions by saying that it will benefit the country. But they gain so much more through their cooperation with Azerbaijan. That's why Georgia's action is a strong blow to strategic partnership and Azerbaijan has the right to make corrections".