Georgian gov’t won’t oppose public opinion and agree to open alternative route to Armenia – political analyst

15:19 | 23.05.2018
If Georgia agrees to open a transit corridor to Armenia from the occupied territories, it will be considered economic legitimization of the occupied lands, Georgian political analyst Gela Vasadze told.
Vasadze said that if Georgia takes steps to open the corridor, the policy of non-recognition of the occupied territories can be questioned.
"Although the legal and technical opening of this route is possible, the issue has been so extensively discussed that there is an impression that the road will not be opened for 10 years. This decision will be made in the format of Russia-US relations, not in the Abashidze-Karasin meeting, which is a technical discussion,” he said.
Vasadze thinks that without the consent of Washington, the Georgian leadership will not accept the opening of the road.
"If this corridor opens, Washington and Moscow will be part of a larger deal on the region. Washington will take part in this deal from the Georgian side only. Moscow, on the other hand, will most likely represent the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides,” he added.
According to the political analyst, the South Caucasus region is the only region where the U.S. and Russia can achieve any concessions or achievements.
"The opening of this route is very important for the Kremlin, because Russia is nearing international isolation and is doing everything possible to get out of it. The U.S. needs this "success story" as in Trump wanting to reach an agreement on any issue with Putin. This issue may be related to our region. Due to the fact they are unable to reach an agreement on any issue in other areas,” Vasadze said.
The Georgian political analyst said he thinks the impact of the corridor on Armenia’s economic development will be zero.
"This issue is of political importance and if we look at it from the context of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, if there is an opening, it will be presented as an achievement for Armenia. That is, another alternative way for Armenia has been opened and the political blockade of Azerbaijan has been disrupted," he said.
Vasadze said he does not believe that the Georgian government will decide on opening the corridor.  "The most important point in this issue is public opinion which opposes the opening of this route. Therefore, I think that the Georgian government will not oppose public opinion and agree to open an alterative route to Armenia,” he added.