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Separatist movements pave way for Armenia’s further isolation

05 April 2014 [13:05] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Azerbaijani political scientist, MP Rasim Musabeyov believes that the separatist movements of the Armenians in the Georgian Samtskhe-Javakheti region will lead to Armenia's total isolation.

"Separatist moves in Samtskhe-Javakheti region can seriously harm relations between Georgia and Armenia," he told AzerNews. "It is hardly believable that Armenia can survive the consequences of the moves because in this special case the country may totally get isolated in the region," he added.

Residents of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region are standing in line in front of Russia's Consulate in Tbilisi to get Russian passports, the Georgian media reported.

Russia's Consulate in Tbilisi operates under the auspices of the Switzerland embassy due to the lack of diplomatic relations with Georgia.

The media noted that the residents of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region who are applying for Russia's passport avoid speaking with the media outlets.

"The region's residents learned from their relatives about the easy issuance of Russian passports and visas," the media reports said.

Georgian expert Gela Vasadze believes that it can be considered as a sign of the new ethno conflict in the Caucasus.

He accused the incumbent Georgian authorities in the possible aggravation of the situation.

"By releasing Vahan Chakhalyan, who is an active supporter of the independence of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, the government encourages the separatist movements," he believes.

"He is active in the region without facing any serious obstacle and this is extremely dangerous," Vasadaze told Azernews.

Chakhalyan, Head of the United Javakhk political movement, was jailed in 2008 and a year later was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of "organizing mass events disrupting public order", "hooliganism" and "illegally keeping weapons".

Georgia's new government released him under the amnesty act adopted by the Parliament in January, 2014.

Georgian former President Mikhael Saakashvili was outraged by this decision adding that the separatist Chakalyan's release was a dangerous decision.

"The ministry is verifying the relevant media report," Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaniani said on local TV channel. "We have no diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation, therefore, we use other mechanisms to verify this data. I hope that I will have legitimate information in a few days."

Regarding the queues, Zalkaniani said that this is a normal procedure like other consular procedures there.

Georgia and Russia, its giant northern neighbor, have maintained no diplomatic relations since a brief war in 2008. Tbilisi broke off relations with Moscow in August 2008 when Moscow crushed a Georgian assault to reassert control over two rebel regions -South Ossetia and Abkhazia- and later recognized the regions. Georgia announced the two unrecognized republics as occupied territories in September 2008.
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