By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Armenia once again brings to the agenda an issue that calls into question the territorial integrity of Georgia.
Recently, a regular meeting was held within the framework of the Russian-Georgian transport agreement of 2011, providing for the opening of roads through the occupied territories of Georgia. Road and rail corridor through Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the Georgian government considers separatist regions, should be an alternative to the problematic checkpoint Upper Lars.
This checkpoint is the only way to connect Armenia, which is isolated from the world by the aggressive policy. It is not surprising that the Armenian side is the main interested party in the process that has been going on since 2011. With the help of demagoguery, Yerevan is trying to push Georgia to a step contrary to its sovereignty and national interests.
Zurab Abashidze, Georgian Special Envoy to Russia, told the Armenian media that the specific terms of the implementation of the agreement have not been established yet again. He added that the experts are working and agreed that there is a need to work.
So, there is nothing encouraging for the Armenian side as there are no preconditions that the issue will be resolved in the near future.
Armenia’s impatience about the news from Georgia is easy to understand. The country, which has been isolated due to the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, depends entirely on the mountain checkpoint in Georgia. Despite the fact that Armenia is a member of the Eurasian organizations, it has no access to this space. As many as 80 percent of cargo to Armenia and back is moving through Georgia’s Upper Lars checkpoint.
Armenian experts assess the situation only from the point of view of their interests. They consider, there are two alternative ways; by land through South Ossetia and railway through Abkhazia. These ways would be comfortable for Armenia both economically and politically.
Unlike Armenia, which due to its aggressive policy does not have diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey, Georgia has such a reliable alternative as the transport network of Azerbaijan -- the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars corridor, which the country can always use.
Armenian propaganda deliberately turns a blind eye to the main factor hindering the solution of the issue. The passage of alternative corridors through Abkhazia and South Ossetia runs counter to Georgia's national interests. This is the only and unique reason for the unresolved issue since 2011.
Gela Vasadze, Georgian political scientist, considers it unlikely to open a road through Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He stressed in an interview with an Armenian TV channel that the road opening through Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a serious blow to Georgia's sovereignty.
Vasadze noted that public opinion in Georgia has a negative attitude to this idea and is categorically against the opening of roads in the territories that Georgia does not control.
Armenia is trying not to pay attention to this opinion. Meanwhile, the processes taking place in Georgia in recent days should make it clear to the Armenian side that the situation will not develop according to a favorable scenario for it.
Armenians cynically believe that Georgians do not care about their own national interests, that the Georgian people will agree to the inclusion of unrecognized territories to the transport projects. However, Georgia has once again proved that it will not follow Armenian interests at the expense of theirs.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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