The interconnection of Georgia's accession to NATO and the start of yet another local confrontation

13:16, Friday, 27 September, 2019
The interconnection of Georgia's accession to NATO and the start of yet another local confrontation

Regardless of the degree of actualization by the representatives of the leadership of Armenia and Georgia, the problem of the strategically important Georgian border region of Javakhk (or Javakhetia) occupies a special place in the interstate dialogue. The areas of compact residence of the Armenian population are concentrated. Javakhk is a butt point for the implementation of communication projects, and also plays a key role in ensuring national security not only in Georgia, but also in Armenia.

The situation in the highland region in the south of Georgia has never been calm. Javakhk has more than once become the scene of interethnic tension or even bloody clashes. In recent years, the intention of the Georgian leadership to join NATO and the tension in relations with Russia have increased the concern of the people living there. According to experts, Georgia’s joining the North Atlantic Alliance will naturally lead to the deployment of a military base in Javakhk, that will be equipped with Turkish troops.

This means that the Armenian population in large numbers will be forced to emigrate from their historical homeland or decide to defend the independence of the region and secede from Georgia. Another crisis situation will arise with a further transition to a local conflict. Georgia, having lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia, will hold on to Javakhk with all its might. In this case, Tbilisi’s help will come from Baku and Ankara, and it will be difficult for the Javakhk Armenians to count on Yerevan’s help because of the unresolved Karabakh conflict. Armenia is simply not able to provide armed and other assistance to Javakhk.

Moreover, if the events follow such a scenario, Armenia will lose communication with the outside world and there will be only one land road through Iran. So, Yerevan simply cannot get involved in another conflict for security reasons, although the Javakhk people themselves reproach the Armenian authorities for their indifference to their troubles.

There is neither self-government, nor freedom, nor work in Javakhk. There is only a change in the demographic picture of the region not only by Georgians, but also by Turks. Turkish university has been operating in Akhaltsikhe for several years, many Turkish firms invest in the economy of the region. True, this is happening both in Adjara and throughout Georgia.

Ignoring the vital issues of the life of a significant part of its own citizens makes Georgia fragile and vulnerable to various challenges, which can ultimately turn the South Caucasus region into a part of the "Greater Middle East" with its permanent instability.

Meanwhile, the Georgian leadership, not thinking about internal problems, is organizing various events aimed at strengthening cooperation with NATO. The next is expected in Batumi from October 3 to 4, 2019 - a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, which will be chaired by Deputy Secretary General Rose ***emyuller together with Georgian Prime Minister Georgy Gakharia.

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