Authorities Resist Integrating Javakhk Armenians

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The government of Georgia does not have any programs to integrate the Armenian population of Samtskhe-Javakhk into the Georgian mainstream, warned Yerevan State University professor and a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia Haykazun Alvartsyan.
He said that Armenia’s in Javakhk do not have any opportunities to find a job, since it is mandatory to know the Georgian language.
“But these are just excuses. Armenia’s do know the Georgian language, it is being taught in schools,” explained Alvartsyan adding, “They clearly realize that without the Georgian language there is no way for them. The problem is in the policy of the Georgian government. For some reason politicians in Tbilisi think that Armenia’s of Javakhk want to separate from Georgia by all means, although there is no such intention there.”
He also noted that after the closure of the Russian base in Akhalkalak, Armenia’s have begun to leave the region. “If before, the base somehow solved the socio-economic problems of the region, today, nothing of the sort is in existence. Judge yourself! There are only 20,000 Armenia’s left in Akhaltskhe, 10 000 of whom reside in nearby villages.”
Alvartsyan explained that Armenia’s who have Russian citizenship are leaving Akhalkalak and Meskheti Turks are relocating to their residences.
“Right now, there are a few; But next year there will be much more who are leaving. We have a guarantee from the European Union that there will be no ethnic collisions in Javakhk,” Alvartsyan said.

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