ARMENIA: KNIFE OR DONOR FOR CAUCASIAN ARTERY
HAKOB BADALYAN

http://www.lragir.am/index.php/eng/0/comments/view/28201
Story from Lragir.am News:
16:12 29/11/2012

The Georgian minister of integration Paata Zakareishvili has announced
that the issue of the Abkhazian railway has been removed from the
agenda because Abkhazia has not displayed any interest. Note that
Zakareishvili had made a statement noting that Georgia is ready
to open the railway outside the scope of political issues. He now
states that the issue has been removed from the agenda and is passing
through the first and important stage of practical diplomacy. Even
though the world goes for public political declarations, politics is
carried out behind the stage and only then made known to the public.

In the case of the Abkhazian railway it is true because the issue of
the railway is outside the Georgian-Abkhazian scope. It is the result
of the demand shaped through the regional game, and this is the reason
why the new Georgian government made this interesting statement on the
railway. If we observe the behavior of the new Georgian government,
we will see that the other interesting thing about it was the internal
persecution against Saakashvili's team.

What has generated the demand in the Abkhazian railway? First,
this railway can help expand the scope of the factor of Abkhazian
sovereignty, the process of achieving at least relative independence
of this unrecognized state. The Russian-Georgian war in 2008 was
initiated not only by the Russian side which deployed its troops on
the border of South Ossetia to counteract to Georgia but also in the
west. Evidence to this is Saakashvili's statements following the war,
hinting that the West had promised ahead of the war not to leave him
alone but did leave him alone, in fact.

The war helped resolve several issues. Russia's success was relative
at first sight while strategically it had the adverse effect. With
this war Russia took what it already had de facto and irreversibly.

Instead, Russia is exposed to the risk of legal responsibility and
Western reproach. It is not accidental that Moscow almost reached
Tbilisi but did not dare to intervene and change the government of
Saakashvili. Later Moscow tried to restitute defeat in Georgia by
the West with activity regarding the Karabakh conflict and zeal to
deploy CSTO peacemakers in that area but fortunately failed thanks
to the West.

At the same time, the West actually resolved the issue of Abkhazia
and Ossetia, helping this country to rid of the burden of illusions
and conflict which was a hindrance to Georgia's geopolitical plans.

Currently the second stage of the geopolitical plan is maturing,
and the first steps were taken in Georgia by removing Saakashvili's
government and electing Ivanishvili who is moderate. This is
a circumstance required by the logic of the second stage. Having
severed Abkhazia and Ossetia from Georgia, mainly Abkhazia due to
psychological and geographical peculiarities, the West will set to
resolve the task of severing them from Russia.

This is an issue of a longer phase and requires moderate government in
Georgia because the guarantee of success is to avoid abrupt steps. The
logic of this phase also includes the issue of the Abkhazian railway
which would enable linking Abkhazia to the South Caucasus, thus
generating the tangible goal of Abkhazian independence.

The issue of the Abkhazian railway is quite topical on the agenda of
backstage diplomacy, and first the moods are checked.

In addition, this project has a potential for a third stage, or maybe
also its elaboration which will presuppose expansion towards south, up
to the Persian Gulf. It should not be ruled out that the third stage
may start during the second stage, or maybe it has already started,
namely the developments in Iran and especially Syria.

Official Yerevan still abstains from important statements on this
issue. The prime minister had expressed thoughts on the railway in an
interview with the Interfax, mainly focusing on the benefits of the
railway for Armenia. However, Yerevan does not possess enough resource
for a practical policy although it has great responsibility for the
general logic of developments, avoidance of the role of a wedge tapped
at the South Caucasian axis of the Russian strategy and the role of the
trigger of Armenian-Georgian contacts. Armenia could cut the Caucasian
artery or act as a donor of generation of civilization development.