The Chair of Geocase, Victor Kipiani, participated in the Conference on Geopolitics of Transport Corridors and Communications in the South Caucasus, organized by the Georgian Strategic Analysis Center (GSAC). The conference was attended by experts from Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.
Welcoming remarks were made at the seminar and participants were asked engaging questions by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Poland, Mariusz Maskiewicz.
Kipiani's speech was dedicated to the geopolitical and geoeconomic realities created in the region as a result of the Second Karabakh War, including the relations between the three South Caucasus countries during and after the war, the West's attitude towards the region, and the Russian-Turkish factor within the South Caucasus. Naturally, special attention was drawn to the essence of the already existing and planned transport projects. In addition, separate essential comparisons and reviews were made.
In his assessment of Georgia's position during the military-political processes in Nagorno-Karabakh, Kipiani focused on Georgia's good-neighborly relations with both Azerbaijan and Armenia, as noted in the statement of the National Security Council of October 3rd, which stated that Georgia would not get involved in the conflict and offered to hold talks in Tbilisi.
The balanced and rational attitude of the Georgian side towards the parties of the conflict was especially noted.
According to Kipiani, when it comes to Georgia in relation to regional strategic corridors, it is also important to take into account the Western factor and geopolitical realities. Speaking about the existing and future planned traffic flows, he noted that "the implementation of the project of transport corridors of geopolitical importance does not depend only on the will of the parties. It is also important to attract investments, financial modeling of this or that project, and to have confidence in the stability of the project. It is also necessary to ensure the security of the corridor.”
He spoke about the already existing transport potential of Georgia, as well as the importance of Georgian domestic and foreign processes for the countries of the region.
In his speech, Kipiani brought up the Turkish factor as well. He noted that Turkey's neighborly relations with Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as with Armenia, is a priority for Turkey in order to reduce Russia's influence in the region.
"Turkey should be able to maintain good neighborly relations with Georgia, Azerbaijan, and also with Armenia, because only by pursuing such a policy can there be a hindrance to the increase of Russia’s influence in the region," said Kipiani.
According to the Chair of Geocase, Russia's task during the Karabakh conflict was qualitatively different from previous conflicts. Moscow had in mind both the factor of partnership with Armenia and the need to maintain cooperation with Azerbaijan. This greatly contributed to the peculiarity of Russian action. Kipiani also believes that in the light of Russian-Turkish relations in different parts of the world, the interdependence of these two countries is particularly noteworthy.
"Relations between Russia and Turkey in the region should be considered with caution, but Russia itself has restricted Turkey's participation, which was made clear in the agreement of November 10th reached in Moscow," Viktor Kipiani stated.
The keynote address will be published in the journal, New Eastern Europe.