For those who are following the Armenian-Georgian relations, it could not be striking that Yerevan has sharply reduced its activity to “break through” transit through the occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region. Perhaps this is due to a change in the Georgian government. The new Georgian prime minister, Giorgi Gakharia, clearly does not intend to give up national interests and succumb to Armenian pressure on the transit issue.
However, this does not mean that the Armenian nationalists left Georgia alone. We are witnessing another project, extremely dangerous for Georgian statehood, to support Armenian separatism in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, which Armenian nationalists call "Javakhk". And in this regard, the attention of the Armenian government cannot fail to disturb the attention to this Georgian region.
Everything seems to be done under the plausible pretext of "strengthening economic ties", improving the border transport connection of Armenia with the Armenian-settled regions of Georgia, and so on. This issue was recently raised at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, by none other than one of the main curators of the Armenian “Javakh” separatism, Armenian MP Shirak Torosyan.
This is discussed in the article entitled “The main interests of Armenia and Georgia in Javakhk coincide - Pashinyan” (https://ru.armeniasputnik.am/politics/20191023/20857932/Osnovnye-interesy-Armenii-i-Gruzii-po -Javakhku-sovpadayut - Pashinyan.html. Here are excerpts from this material:
“The main interests of Armenia and Georgia in Samtskhe-Javakheti coincide. The Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan stated this at a government hour in the country's parliament, answering the question of MP Shirak Torosyan.
Earlier, the issues of the Armenian community of Samtskhe-Javakheti (the Armenian-populated region in south-west Georgia - ed.) Were discussed at a meeting of Pashinyan with his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Gakharia.
In particular, it was decided to repair the Bavra-Ninotsminda highway, from the Armenian border deep into the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. Repair of this road is nearing completion.
“On some issues, the interests of Armenia and Georgia related to the Javakhk Armenians may diverge. But our government believes that in the conceptual approaches our interests coincide and there is no contradiction in them. I think this is the most important topic against which other issues get a practical solution, "Pashinyan emphasized.
As the transport connection with Javakhk improves, it becomes possible to send more passengers and cargo through this section of the border. Now almost 70% of the crossings of the Armenian-Georgian border are at the Bagratashen checkpoint (in the north-east of the country). Now the task is set - to evenly distribute this flow to all checkpoints: Bavra, Gogavan and Bagratashen.
In addition, as Pashinyan noted, a car customs terminal will be moved from Yerevan to Gyumri. And this will create new activity between the two countries along the way to Samtskhe-Javakheti.
It should be noted that the need to repair the Bavra-Ninotsminda road was repeatedly stated by representatives of the Armenian community of Samtskhe-Javakheti. The start of work aroused great enthusiasm in the region. ”
It is not difficult to notice that the “great inspiration” was caused by the reconstruction of the highway, which, in essence, will allow to establish transport links between the Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javkheti and Armenia. It would seem that the road is a good thing. But if it will not be used for aggression and support of separatism.
It should be recalled that in the history of Georgia one “cross-border” road has already played its fateful role. We are talking about the highway through the Caucasus Range and the Roki Tunnel from the Russian Federation to Tskhinvali, which was built just before the collapse of the USSR. Ossetian separatists in Tskhinvali were “inspired” and revived under the strict guidance of their Armenian counterparts precisely after the commissioning of this road. And in August 2008, tanks of the invaders already went through the Roki tunnel to Georgian territory.
Also, one should not forget that a key role in the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani Karabakh and the support of the separatists was played by the highway passing through the city of Lachin, the so-called Lachin corridor. It was precisely the capture of the Lachin corridor that the efforts of the Armenian aggressors were directed first of all. Having seized this corridor, the Armenian invaders were able to establish uninterrupted supply of their separatist formations and, with the help of the Russian army, were able to eventually capture Azerbaijani Karabakh.
Thus, the Bavra-Ninotsminda road may well become the Roki tunnel and the Lachin corridor to support the Armenian “Javakh” separatists from the Republic of Armenia. And this is very dangerous for the security of Georgia.
Without denying the usefulness of building and repairing roads in general, Georgian law enforcement agencies must suppress in the bud any manifestations of separatism. And also not to allow the Armenian nationalists to take steps that run counter to the state interests of Georgia in the Samtskhe-Jvakheti region.
In this regard, one should recall the revelations of the same Shirak Torosyan by the Armenian media this spring, where he just dwelt in detail on Armenia’s interest in reducing the so-called “Turkish influence” in Samtskhe-Javkheti.
Here, for example, are the words from the interview of Shirak Torosyan: “Deputy: Armenia is interested in reducing Turkish influence in Georgia” (https://news.am/rus/news/502942.html):
“Armenia and Georgia face common regional challenges. Shirak Torosyan, deputy from the “My Step” faction, stated this in an interview with the correspondent of News of Armenia - NEWS.am.
According to him, one of the most serious challenges is the growth of Turkish influence in Georgia. “A strong Georgia on our northern borders is in the interests of Armenia,” the deputy emphasized.
Torosyan believes that if Turkish influence in Georgia grows, this will - nilly affect Armenia. “Certain strata and forces have formed in Georgia, which, against the backdrop of Turkish investments, may take an anti-Armenian position. We saw this under the previous authorities. Now, it seems, there are signs of a change in the situation, ”the deputy said, adding that Armenia and Georgia should act together in this matter.”
Here it is necessary to clarify that under “Turkish influence” Torosyan and the Armenian “Javakhk” separatists understand primarily the national transit corridors passing through the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Therefore, in the framework of the implementation of these "interests in reducing Turkish influence" sabotage, sabotage and other harmful actions of the separatists against the economic interests of Georgia and its international economic cooperation are not ruled out.