KARS-AKHALKALAKI RAILROAD.

The dramatic events that occurred in Javahk on the eve of the official launch of the construction of the Kars-Akhalaklaki railroad testify to the fact that the Turkish-Azerbaijani peaceful economic initiatives are going to end in a bloody battle for us, the Armenians.
It is more than obvious that the conflicts which started in Akhalkalaki on June 17, prior to the beginning of the construction of the Kars Akhalkalaki railroad, are the result of the primitive provocations initiated by the Georgian intelligence services. They pursued a goal to demonstrate the Georgian government’s decisiveness in realizing the construction of the railroad on the territory of Javahk.


Therefore, no matter to what extent the methods of struggle chosen by the ‘United Javahk’ company corresponded to the new developments in the region, the activists of the organization could not but act as ‘scapegoats’ in the given spectacle.
This testifies to the fact that starting the construction of the Turkish section of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad is fraught with the threat of introducing ‘highly-explosive’ elements in the situation of the region, which is tense, as it is.
Georgia is in the focus of Russia’s serious political-military pressures which will reach their culmination before December 2008, a period when the official Tbilisi anticipates obtaining full rights to NATO membership. And it is not absolutely accidental that at the time when the Georgian, Azeri and Turkish Presidents were laying the foundations of the new “Silky Road” in Kars on the 24th of July, large-scale military trainings were being held in the countries situated to the north and south of Georgia.
The existing situation makes the Armenian leadership avoid the temptation of making hasty assessments on the recent developments. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that there has never been any serious economic and technical justification for the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad. This is a lever of political pressure against Armenia. The high-flown words delivered by the top figures of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan are, as a matter of fact, a simple veil for the whole civilized world.
With the purpose of “embellishing” them more, the Turkish President announced in Kars that the given project was open to all the countries of the South Caucasus. Along with the hint obviously directed to Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan implicitly remind about the well-known preconditions they have imposed on our country.
So what “open projects” do the Turks and Azeris speak about in a situation when Armenia is offered to put aside its historical recollections and achievements in order to participate in them? Clearly, such propaganda show is initiated with the purpose of maintaining “one’s own image” in the atmosphere of the non-official Armenian-Turkish relations which have livened up recently.
Thus, before the year 2011, a time when it is planned to hand over the Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad for operation, the territory of Javahk may serve as a means for exerting pressure upon Armenia and organizing political provocations. The Azerbaijani company which has undertaken the responsibility of carrying out the construction will be certainly involved in such provocations as this may serve as a tool for spoiling the Armenian-Georgian relations.
The Turkish intelligence services will also initiate active work in Javahk in an attempt to drive a wedge in the Armenian-Georgian relations, speeding up the return of the Turkish-Meskhets.
Georgia in turn will find itself in an ambiguous situation because, by making its territory a theatre of geo-economic experiments containing obvious elements of bluff, it will sooner or later have to taste the bitter fruits of such tricks.
Moreover, no matter how much the countries launching the construction of the Kars-Akhalakalaki railroad may try to advertise the economic “advantages” of their project, it is becoming more and more obvious that they will need new financial resources for accomplishing the activities in time. Today, it is already clear that the project will “swallow” 600-700 million US Dollars instead of the previously announced sum of 400 million US Dollars, but the expenses will not be limited to that.
Disguising the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad behind the signboard of a large-scale economic program, Turkey is introducing elements of internal tension in the region. And the following question comes up: who is it advantageous to? Armenia and the Armenian diplomacy are required to do their utmost to prevent the launch of the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad from developing into a proper occasion for clashes and arrests in Javahk. It is necessary to win time, at least till the end of the current year when certain clarifications are expected both in the Russian-American relations and in Georgia’s plans for NATO membership. It is also quite possible for such clarifications to be accompanied by the weakening of the current tension around Abkhazia and South Osia.
In conditions of the current unfavorable geo-political developments, the most important thing to do is not to become a “party” to the “competition” of the interested superpowers and at the same time, win their approval with regard to the issue of raising the blockade of Armenia. This will be followed by the moment when they will attach importance to the role and significance of the Armenian factor in suspending Turkey’s program aimed at invading the South Caucasus.
We believe that at the beginning of 2009, Armenia and the Armenian diplomacy will be given the opportunity to undertake active and initiatory steps for overcoming the circle of blockade and provocations resulting from the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railroad.

VARDAN GRIGORYAN

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Filed under armenia, azerbaijan, diaspora, genocide, Georgia, turkey

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