Georgian Foreign Minister in Armenia for Talks

Georgia's foreign minister, Grigol Vashadze with Armenia's Eduard Nalbandian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Georgia’s Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze paid on Tuesday a working visit to Armenia which his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian described as a further indication of “truly friendly relations” between the two neighboring nations.

Neither minister made any public statements after their talks which the Armenian Foreign Ministry said touched upon “a broad range of issues,” including regional security and the implementation of agreements reached by the Armenian and Georgian presidents. A ministry statement gave no further details of the talks.

“The first four months of this year have already seen visits to Armenia by the president and the prime minister of Georgia,” Nalbandian was quoted by his press office as telling Vashadze. “The [Georgian] ministers of internal affairs, defense and transport have also been here recently.”

“This intensity of visits testifies to … truly friendly relations existing between Armenia and Georgia,” he said.

It was not clear if Vashadze discussed in Yerevan the Georgian parliament’s April 19 decision not to renew an agreement that has allowed Russia to use Georgian territory for making shipments to the Russian military base in Armenia. Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia visited Yerevan the day before that decision initiated by President Mikheil Saakashvili.

“I don’t exclude that Vashadze’s visit is somehow connected with the annulment of that document,” Levan Urushadze, a Georgian political analyst, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

Sergey Minasian, deputy director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute, suggested that the issue was hardly high on the agenda of the trip. “I think that the issue has already been discussed before, perhaps at the presidential level,” he said. “It was discussed in greater detail during the [Georgian] defense minister’s visit.”

The Armenian Defense Ministry last week expressed confidence that Tbilisi’s decision will not lead to any “change in Armenia’s security environment” or weaken the country’s military capacity.

Minasian agreed, saying that the Russian-Georgian agreement on military transit effectively stopped working during the August 2008 war in South Ossetia. He told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that Russia has since communicated with its troops stationed in Armenia through other regional states, including Azerbaijan.

The Russian military base is a major element of Armenia’s national security strategy. A Russian-Armenian agreement signed last August upgraded its mission and extended Moscow’s lease on the base it by 24 years, until 2044.

Visiting Yerevan in October, Vashadze made no secret of Tbilisi’s concerns about the Russian military presence in Armenia and elsewhere in the South Caucasus.


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One Comment;

  1. Hrant K. said:

    Georgia’s Foreign Minister should also be concerned about the influx of Ajarians and Tartars into

    the Akhalkalaki and Akhatskha regions, and also making the lives of the Armenians more difficult and

    intolerable in that historic Armenian territory, that was forcefully annexed by Josip Stalin after the

    sovietization of the Armenian Republic in 1922. The route of cargos from Russia to Armenia via Georgia

    cannot be

    sabotaged by the Georgians, if they don’t want to see the Djavkheti Region and Ajaria become another

    South Ossetia or Abkhazia. And if Azerbaijan is planning to stop the opening up of the Stepanakert

    Civilian Ivanian Airport, it should think twice before the whole Nakhitchevan region turns into another

    Nagorno Karabakh!!!!!! Pink Revolutions alongside Authoritarian Regimes’ marriages simply end up into

    divorces. And the ” Divorce lawyer and consultant” can sometimes loose his patience. Both neighbors of

    Armenia cannot simply sit on Russia’s lap and pick the Big Bear’s beard!!!!!