By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Not content with the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, some Armenians have their eyes on the territories of other neighbors as well. In particular, they demand an Armenian autonomy with the capital in Russia’s Sochi. Moreover, some of them think about laying claims on Georgia’s Abkhazia.
Discussions among Armenians in social networking sites reveal that Armenian nationalists do not shy away from making territorial claims against neighboring Georgia, especially on this country’s separatist Abkhazia region.
Today, Armenians are the main ethnic group in Georgia’s Abkhazia territory and their number reaches 120,000. If the separatist entity is allowed to give citizenship in a simplified manner to Armenians, the Armenian population may well reach 500,000 people in Abkhazia. This number is further increased if we consider around 1,000,000 Armenians in neighboring Russia’s Krasnodar region on the Black Sea.
It is noteworthy that the number of Armenians in Georgia’s Abkhazia actually exceeds the Armenian population in Azerbaijan’s occupied Karabakh breakaway region. Meanwhile, Armenians continue to leave the occupied Azerbaijani territories due to economic and social hardships in the occupied territories; even local nationalists are not in a hurry to settle there. Despite the fact that the Armenian authorities are doing everything to populate the occupied Azerbaijani lands, Nagorno-Karabakh remains geopolitical impasse for Yerevan. Armenians do not want to live there or be a cannon fodder on the front line for that matter.
As for Georgia’s Abkhazia with its wonderful climate and the warm sea, Armenians are determined to inhabit the territory.
Thus, a “second Armenia” may emerge in the Caucasus, in particular, on the Black Sea coast. Given the previous experience of history falsification such as “there were no Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh,” it is clear that Armenian will try to prove that they were “ancient indigenous people” in Georgian territories, in an attempt to further falsify history to reach their expansionist goals.
So far, the Armenian lobby has tried hard to arrange transit between Abkhazia and Armenia. At the same time, they are openly supporting “warm” separatism in other Georgian regions, in particular, in Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Most importantly, they are trying, in every possible way, to remove from the agenda of Georgian society the issues of de-occupation of Abkhazia and the return of refugees.
After lobbying the recognition of the so-called "Armenian genocide", Armenians will do their best to preserve the separatist status of Abkhazia, with the transfer of real power there to the hands of the Armenian community. It becomes clear why Georgia experiences difficulties with returning Abkhazia. Armenian nationalists and the Armenian lobby are doing their best to impede Georgia’s regaining control over its territories.
It should be taken into account that not only Georgians but also Russians suffered from separatism in Abkhazia. Russians are also driven out of apartments, while Russian businessmen are terrorized and even killed.
Armenian nationalists already consider Abkhazia, the Black Sea coast, and the North Caucasus as a part of imagined “Great Armenia”.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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