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Georgia Tries to Improve Relations with Russia through Armenia: Opinion

In the Karabakh conflict, the idea of Georgia’s possible mediation can be born not in Tbilisi, but in the European Union. This idea is currently in an embryonic state — it’s been thrown into society, to test the waters. This opinion was expressed by Tbilisi-based analyst Mamuka Areshidze speaking to Epress.am in the geographical center of the South Caucasus — Tekali, Georgia — following a mock trial in which he presented counter-arguments to Georgia’s possible mediation in the Karabakh conflict.

Tbilisi, according to Areshidze, tries to maintain the role of initiator of an active policy in the South Caucasus. “Georgia is more free as it has no state disputes with its neighbors. Therefore, the idea of joining and engaging in regional problems arises in Saakashvili’s administration.”

The analyst also noted that in Georgia, it is widely believed that the country’s authorities try to normalize relations with Russia through Armenia. This matter, in Areshidze’s opinion, is often discussed during meetings between the presidents of Georgia and Armenia, along with other sensitive topics, such as problems with the Church and economic cooperation.

As for the role of Azerbaijan in the region, Areshidze said, Azerbaijan is a “self-sufficient state and feels itself master of the situation.”

“When such a small country has a reserve fund of 25 billion, it can afford not to think toward creating a union, a confederation with its neighbors and can summon weak neighbors to act as mediators to solve its problems.

“With regard to Armenia, it is far too dependent on Russia and cannot conceive of calling Georgia to mediate in problems with Azerbaijan. In principle, that’s right,” he concluded.