Armenia and Georgia: 5 reasons to cooperate

When Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), it seemed that political realities change irreversibly and economic prospects were lost in the Caucasus. But a year has passed since signing the agreement and many people have come to a conclusion that bipolar Caucasus “is not so black as it is painted”. We offer you five factors, proving that Armenia and Georgia will cooperate notwithstanding political and strategic differences. We have learnt about these factors from the meeting in the Boell Foundation.

1.

The good news is that Armenia and Georgia are “categorically not ready” to spoil relations with each other. “The history proves that despite some differences at its certain stages, Georgia and Armenia move along one and the same path and the aim of it is the western civilization. This is our goal”, said Giorgi Tarkhan-Mouravi, Co-Director of the Public Policy Institute.

Square

2.

“The two counties have many-century experience of co-existence and long-lasting cooperation, which, sometimes was mixed with fits of fury”, that’s how David Hovanesyan, Director of the YSU Center for Civilization and Cultural Studies, has determined this historic cooperation. In his opinion, Armenia and Georgia have been always very attentive and cautious regarding the issue of their interrelations. From this point of view each power is being guided by a principle “don’t do harm”. “More serious, more permanent, more complementary relations can be built on this basis,” David Hovanesyan noted.

3.

By the way, Georgia and Armenia’s different political preferences do not exclude their cooperation in other spheres. It is noteworthy that the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries has been in effect since 1995.
Besides, Armenia does not intend to give up on cooperation with the West: “We have intense cooperation with NATO; Armenia has been involved in its several programs. This fact makes Russia nervous to a certain extent, but we should use these opportunities by all means”, David Hovanesyan noted.

Tbilisi 2

4.

Georgia-Armenia relations are slightly asymmetric: Armenia is more interested in cooperation; it is mainly conditioned by Georgia’s importance as a transit territory and its attractiveness as the Black Sea resort.
As for Armenia, it is not so interesting for Georgia, but the cooperation potential is so high, that sooner or later it will exceed “dissymmetry” as in some spheres Armenia is successful (for example, information technologies), but Georgia is not so advanced in it. Thus, cooperation prospects are real and promise considerable profits.

5.

Let’s consider the profit issue in detail. Both Armenians and Georgians have a good opportunity to cooperate, create joint enterprises, enter new markets and get considerable profits. The two components that are required for this cooperation are – will and interest. People should be interested in learning something new about each other be it news or historical assessments. “There isn’t any textbook in Georgian language, that will provide information about modern Armenia. Both countries have not coordinated their understanding of history. When there is something unpleasant, historians prefer not to touch upon it. For instance, no one talks about the Georgian-Armenian war in 1918. Why should this theme be tabooed? Mutual trust cannot be built without clear understanding of the causes of this war,” Giorgi Tarkhan-Mouravi stressed.

JAMnews, Tbilisi
Photo by Diana Petriashvili, JAMnews


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