Georgia to Propose EU-Like Union for Caucasus

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili

BAKU (News.az)—Georgia’s president urged Turkey to help realize the unification of the South Caucasus but said his country does not want Russia or Iran in the alliance.

“The emergence of the ‘United Caucasus’ is my aspiration,” Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, reportedly told Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu while discussing the concept of the creation of the union during their meeting in Tbilisi on Saturday, the Georgian Presidency’s press office said.
 
Saakashvili reportedly expressed his belief in the concept of “open borders” across the region, saying this idea is already being discussed with the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides. The Georgian president also proposed a similar project during Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Georgia last year, but experts had little hope that it would be realized.

Three countries in the South Caucasus established a federation following the October Revolution in Czarist Russia in 1917, but the union soon fell as Azerbaijan opposed going to war against the Ottomans at the time. Following the chaotic collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan and Armenia also fought a full-scale armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

“There is a long way to materialization of the current idea; yet, this is a positive step put forward,” Saakashvili said, underlining the importance of the initiative enabling citizens of both Turkey and Georgia to travel with only state identity cards. Turkey proposed a similar initiative in 2008 following the August war between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway South Ossetia, but Turkey said Russia should also be in the so-called “Caucasus Cooperation and Stability Platform.”

Turkey and Georgia plan to apply “single window customs” at the Sarp border gate, the largest and busiest gate in the Caucasus, facilitating trade transactions and enabling cross-traders to present their documents at a single location. “Such an example can be a ‘role model’ for the rest of the region,” Saakashvili told Davutoğlu during the meeting.

Davutoğlu said during a press conference on Saturday that he considers this a very serious initiative regarding the integration of the two countries’ economies. “The fact that we are opening our borders is a positive paradigm for other countries of the region,” said Saakashvili, who also reportedly told Davutoğlu that all countries in the region should open borders.

Saakashvili’s remarks came after his visit to Armenia late last month, where he discussed transportation-communication facilitation with Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan, the Georgian Presidency’s press office had said at the time. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 as a sign of solidarity with Azerbaijan when Armenia sent its troops into Nagorno-Karabakh and other provinces neighboring the region.

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20 Comments

  1. Berge Jololian said:

    Saakashvili does not want Russia or Iran in the alliance; but he wants Turkey and the US State Department to rule his “alliance”. Iran and Russia *are* an *inseparable* part of the Caucasus, the US State Department and Turkey are not.

  2. Hayq said:

    How about we work towards on creating a common border between Armenia and Russia. That way, countries that matter, like Iran and Russia, can be connected through safe and efficient transit countries like Armenia.

    More masterbation by the world’ elite clown Saakashvili.

  3. Gaghant Baba said:

    This just goes to show Mr Shadkashwilly is an Amateur politician. I guess he wants to come off as a “visionary”. Can someone inform this guy the difference between the EU the Caucasus? When the countries in the EU decided to form the union, there was no rogue terrorist country among them like Azerbaijan. A country in the EU was not daily threatening other countries to attack them and destroy them. Countries were not blockading each other in the name of “brotherhood”, actually Turan – the destruction of Armenia. And until Azerbaijan and Turkey are ready to accept terms on them put forth by Armenians, take that so-called Caucasus Union and shove it!

    • manooshag said:

      Gaghant Baba, I agree. Today the EU countries realize that the inclusion of a turkey in EU is a no no! It takes like-minded and civilized nations to come together. So today, nations such as Iran and now China – seeking to join with like-mminded and advanced societies are seeking to ‘associate’ with Armenia!!
      Manooshag

    • manooshag said:

      Gaghant Baba, I agree. Today the EU countries realize that the inclusion of a turkey in EU is a no no! It takes like-minded and civilized nations to come together. So today, nations such as Iran and now China – seeking to join with like-minded and advanced societies are seeking to ‘associate’ with Armenia!!
      Manooshag
      P.S. When will the USA leadership recognize their policies with Armenia is out dated… unAmerican and certainly not intelligent.

  4. Armanen said:

    Hayq:

    You bring up a great point. I think if a war occurs again between Armenia and azerbaijan, Armenia must strike into the northern parts of azerbaijan that border Russia. We will see if and how a war works out, but should Armenia come out the victor I think the Russians will be pleased to have us as their newest neighbors and would help block any formal condemnation from the un or other worthless international orgs.

  5. Armenian said:

    I am fascinated with Armenians who fantasize about sharing a border with Russia. Russia’s not going to solve all of your problems, and we’ve had more historic relations with the Georgians than with the Russians- we have more in common with the Georgians as well. I wonder how many of the Armenians who tenaciously rail against Georgia have actually met one or spoken to a Georgian? Why on Earth would any Armenian want to throw all of that away for the sake of a temporary, politically ill-fated relationship with Russia? This Russophilia has to end; it’s turning into a blind love affair with people who advocate that we leave Moscow, and attack innocent Armenians for being “dark”. We can’t sit down and twiddle our thumbs, willingly submitting to Russia with the faint hope that they will do what is best for our interests. Do Armenians love Russia to the point that they’re willing to damage all relations with the countries that have decent relations with us? Russia will not protect us; in fact, a lot of our modern-day border disputes come from the Soviet Union, and Russia has consistently shown that it will do what is best for its interests, and not Armenia’s. Armenians need to stop trying to make an indefinite plea to have the Russians rule over us. We are the makers of our own destiny, and even with our geopolitical hardships, we can still make something out of nothing. I’m not in favor of cutting Georgia up for the sake of a fickle, temporary ally. We should first talk about domestic policies in Armenia before threatening to cut other countries into pieces. This is why the Armenian state will permanently be in the shape it is today.

    • Arn.Sweden. said:

      SIR – YOU ERR.

      YOU ARE MIXING SOME OF RUSSIAS POPULATIONS FEELINGS ABOUT DARK ARMENIANS,
      (WHITCH ORIGINAT IN THE CHECHEN TERRORISM IN RUSSIA I THINK),
      WITH THE STRATEGIC ANTI-TURKISH INTERESSTS OF RUSSIA,
      WHICH COINSIDES WITH ARMENIAS,

      AND,

      YOU ALSO MIXES THE ARMENIANS AND ARMENIAS RELATION,
      WITH THE GEORGIAN PEOPLES AND GEORGIA OF OLD,,
      AND THE POLITICAL RULE OF TODAYS GEORGIA..

      THE POLITICAL RULE OF GEORGIA TODAY IS A DISASTER,
      THE POLITICAL RULE OF RUSSIA TODAY IS BENEFICIAL FOR ARMENIA.

      GOD BLESS THE ARMENIAS AND RUSSIAS COWORK.

      Arn.Sweden.

  6. Armenian said:

    I would also like to add that comments like Hayq’s are what the Azeris and Georgian nationalists use to demonize and portray Armenians as the boogieman in Georgia. Comments like those are what create an atmosphere of xenophobia against Armenians in Georgia, and a thickening layer of tension between the two nations. Is Russia worth the hatred comments like these are inciting against us?

    • Avery said:

      Armenian:

      re: “Russia’s not going to solve all of your problems”.
      Was the choice of the pronoun ‘your’ instead of ‘our’ a Freudian-slip, or perhaps it shows your true feelings towards Armenians ? I would think Armenia’s problems are our problems – ALL Armenians’ problems.

      I have not spoken to any Georgians lately, but here is what I know:

      -Georgia looted the trainloads of goods and critical supplies that were being sent to Armenia after the 1988 earthquake from the rest of Soviet Union (mainly Russia).

      -During the Artsakh War of Survival and Liberation, Georgia not only did not help their fellow Orthodox Christians, but allowed Azeris to constantly sabotage and blow up the only natural gas pipe bringing Russian gas to Armenia: Yerevan’s residents had to cut down city’s trees and burn the wood to avoid being frozen to death.

      -Georgia is trying to move Meshketian Turks into Javakhk to dilute the historic presence of Armenians.

      -Georgia practices overt discrimination against Javakhk’s Armenians with the goal of making them leave Georgia.

      -Georgia works hand-in-glove with Turkey and Azerbaijan to isolate Armenia: Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway is one recent example.

      I could go on, and on, and on… but hopefully the point has been made.
      You are right: Russia cannot solve all of Armenian’s problems. But I doubt very much that Georgia is a trustworthy neighbor.

  7. Edward Demian said:

    It makes more sense than anything else. However, all the countries involved would have to be Democratic. There would have to be be cameralism and universal conscription into a national army, etc. Not likely with the Azery oligarks around.

  8. Garo said:

    I mean seriously, does Saakashvilli really believe we are that stupid? He is the puppet of the Americans and the Turks, and i really don’t understand what he is trying to achieve with this anti-Russian policy of his. For us the two most stable countries in the region are Russia and Iran, we could never turn our backs towards these countries.
    We have to build strong ties with Iran (something which has been achieved), and in the case of Russia, they (ie Russians) know which is the most trustworthy and stable country in the Caucasus.

  9. Gregory said:

    no way hosey. There are too many problems in the caucasus as we speak. Russia is occupying Georgian territory, and Georgia refuses to give Armenia the Javakh region. There is no cooperation between the two countries. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has close links to Turkey, making it a non neutral country. This would lead to Turkish influence in the caucasus federation/union. Moreover, Azerbaijan has the greatest population in the caucasus, leading to them already having more influence and probably more seats in this theoretical caucasus union parliament. There is also a concern of Azerbaijani terrorists attacking Armenia, which is the worst case scenario.

  10. arziv said:

    Someone one said, in a figure of speech, that Georgian are turks disguised as christians. I do not know whteher that is the case; I only know about Javakh and how these Georgians are asfixiating our life as Armenians there. Shaskavilly is a rabid dog infected with rabies. The man is a psicopath, he thinks of himself as the Napoleon of the caucasus. However if one has a dog for a neighbor, better be careful. Georgians =turks; turks=azeries, georgians =azeries. Armenia can not form part of a ” shaskavili created ( turks conspiring behind the scenes; Shaskavily simply wishes to change masters; the russians in exchange for the turks-USA; axis of evil as far as Armenia is concerned) southern caucasus union. Interestingly he does not want Russia nor Iran involved. Russia and Iran are neighbors, the USA is not. Armenia can not form part of a Shaskavily ( turkish sponsored designs on panturanism) union. Armenia will not dance to the tune and rythm of the psicopath Shaskavily and his Turkish promoters. It would simply mean the end of Armenia. Open borders ? Sure , open borders with turks and Azeries, and these two barbarian savage races ( remnants of decaying and degenerate trees) will swamp and flood our small Armenia, and have us for breakfast before sunrise. Open borders means the end of Armenia as a nation state ; turks and Azeris will have their prize without firng a shot. Borders are created for a purpose; to protect the identity and nationalities of the people living within those borders. As Armenians we can not accept such a dispensation condemning our nation and people to historic oblivion. Shaskavili is a threaded puppet in the hands of turks and the USA. He was foiled in his attempt with South Ossetia. Now he is entrenching himself in a power hungry base within Georgia and is desperately looking for ” backers” to perpetuate himself and his cronies in power. Therefore the turks-USA when they say jump; Shaskavily does a sommersault to impress his lords. Shakavily will be used as barking and growling rotweiler in the Caucasus scenario by USA-Turks. He will be used to stir and de-stabilize the region to advance turkish-USA interests, and these interests are at opposite poles to those of Armenia

  11. Seervart said:

    I remember reading a book published in Armenia that I brought it with me about our Gomidas Vartabed and how he thought about Armenians’ alliances about what Armenia can ever benefit from the Westerners vs. the Russians. And his views at the time were in conjunctions with both Khatchadour Apovian as well as Sayat Nova. All three thought of the same and this is what they said; We Armenians cannot benefit from any Western nations as they are not sympathetic towards us or any of our causes. We can however expect a great deal more from the Russians. Gomidas Vartabed said, that he is not naive to think that Russia is not going to think of herself first and for her benefits, however compare with the Westerners, Russia fares much better for us and for causes. Even to this date, I happen to agree with all three of them; Khatchadour Apovian, Sayat Nova and Gomidas Vartabed. All three lived in the region, all three were keen and insightful beings and had exceptional and intense patriotism towards their native and beloved Armenia. This is what I happen to say for the above matter.

  12. Avery said:

    The source of this article is News.az – an Azeri web site, therefore suspect as to their motives vis-à-vis Armenia. The article is chock-full of subtle Azeri propaganda and disinformation phrases.

    Ex1: “… Azerbaijan and Armenia also fought a full-scale armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh…”
    Fact: Azerbaijan and Armenia didn’t “fought” : Atrsakh’s indigenous Armenians fought the Azeri invaders.
    Armenia helped their brothers in Artsakh. Same as Turkey helping Azerbaijan with weapons,
    irregular Grey Wolf fighters, NATO Trained Turkish officers in Baku, etc.

    Ex2: “Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 as a sign of solidarity with Azerbaijan when
    Armenia sent its troops into Nagorno-Karabakh and other provinces neighboring the region”
    Fact: Armenia did not send troops into Nagorno-Karabakh: Atrsakh’s Armenians threw out invaders.
    Turkey closed the border with Armenia when Azeri’s were on the ropes in 1993, hoping Armenia
    would abandon their brothers in Artsakh, and save their Azeri buddies from total defeat.
    Didn’t work.

    They want to plant the Meme that if only Armenia would abandon Artsakh and start freely trading with Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – all her problems would vanish and there would unbounded prosperity for all. Riiiiiight.

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