Jan 24, 2021
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Georgia is afraid of becoming unnecessary to anyone

Hundreds of trucks on Monday remained in multi-kilometer queues at the checkpoints of Georgia and Russia on the Georgian Military Highway, which was closed due to weather conditions on January 11. This road is a key highway connecting not only Georgia but also Armenia with the Russian Federation. At the same time, now, after the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan reach agreements on the transport development of the region, Georgia fears that it will lose its significance, which will be a blow to the Georgian economy. The opposition of Georgia in the person of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili has already warned that the country is threatened with becoming an “amputated part of the South Caucasus”, which “no one needs.”

Earlier, the Asian Development Bank, together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, allocated about $ 500 million to Georgia for the reconstruction of the road, taking into account its importance for Armenia. But now the future of this project is uncertain.

The reason is the agreement on “unblocking all economic and transport links in the region” reached in Moscow on January 11 by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with the mediation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Azerbaijan will receive a new transport route to Nakhichevan and Turkey, Russia to Turkey and Armenia, and Armenia to Iran and Russia. Consequently, the importance of the Georgian Military Highway will sharply decrease.

The Georgian authorities still do not comment on the agreement reached in Moscow. But the topic still entered the national political agenda. The third president of the country, Mikheil Saakashvili, announced the “catastrophic consequences” of the project for the transit significance of Georgia. Speaking on the air of the opposition television company Mtavari Arkhi (Main Channel), he described in detail how, during his presidential term, he tried to use Georgia’s geographical position to increase its “geopolitical significance”. “We were needed both by Azerbaijan for communication with Turkey, and Armenia for communication with Russia,” the politician explained, showing the routes on the map live.

Now, as the ex-president notes, Georgia can turn into an “amputated part of the South Caucasus”, which “no one needs.” Mr. Saakashvili blames the Russian president for “humiliating Georgia’s transit function”. “Putin brought Aliyev and Pashinyan to Moscow and told them:“ Why do you need Georgia? ”, The former Georgian leader offered his version of events. According to the oppositionist, the “unnecessary” of Tbilisi “will certainly lead to the fact that Baku will stop supplying it with natural gas at a preferential price, and Armenia, with the hands of some“ revanchist elements ”, will allegedly try to compensate for the bitterness of defeat from Azerbaijan by rejecting the Javakheti region from Georgia, where the Armenians make up 97% of the population.

A number of Georgian experts are convinced that the apocalyptic picture drawn by the ex-president is, in fact, not very far from the real state of affairs. “All these transport projects predetermined a very important geopolitical function of Georgia, which in turn ensured its state stability,” political scientist Georgy Khukhashvili said in an interview with Kommersant. He believes that the demand for the Georgian Black Sea ports of Poti and Batumi “is at a serious risk.”

According to the expert, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which began regularly transporting goods from Azerbaijan to Turkey on January 14, “may turn into one of the most unsuccessful projects.” Moreover, the Georgian section of the railway, as Giorgi Khukhashvili recalled, “was built at the expense of Azerbaijan’s loan,” and Tbilisi “will have to pay in any case.”

Good luck, genatsvale.

In the meantime, while Georgia is trying to grasp the impending new reality, the Russians are beginning to slowly recolonize some areas of the now former Georgia.

For the first time, TUI Russia will transfer the concept of Fun & Sun family vacations to the territory of the Sukhumi District of the Black Sea Province of Abkhazia. According to a press release, in the 2021 season it will be presented at the 3 * Zhoekvara hotel, located on the first line of the Black Sea between the old and new districts of Gagra, within walking distance from the water park, market and restaurants. The hotel will have animation for children and adults, a children’s menu, the “Tukan” club and other elements of the concept of recreation, already familiar to tourists from hotels in Turkey.

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