"We must recognize inviolability of borders of all three states of South Caucasus"
    Caliber.Az interview with Professor Kobakhidze

    Tamilla Mammadova

    INTERVIEWS - 27 May 2022 - 15:14

    Caliber.Az had an interview with Beka Kobakhidze, Georgian historian, and professor at Ilia State University.

    - How do you assess the current foreign policy agenda of Georgia in the international arena?

    - The current Georgian government is trying to play up to Russia, while leaving the way open to the West, actively participating in NATO events, and it has applied for EU membership. Regarding Russia, the government is trying to show restraint, proving that there will not be a second front with Ukraine, that it views the Kyiv administration negatively, and that they are only providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians.

    Tbilisi politically supports Ukraine only when the whole world does. Our authorities look to both Russia and the West and wait to see what the outcome will be.

    But foreign policy is also influenced by domestic politics, because the main opposition party, the United National Movement, is hostile to the Kremlin. Georgia has repeatedly stated that it will not join the anti-Russian sanctions, trying to please both Moscow and the West at the same time, thus keeping power inside the country.


    - Speaking of Ukraine, you are referring to the government. And what is the sentiment in Georgian society on this issue?

    - In Georgia, the majority of the population supports Ukraine. But today, Georgia is not ready for war; the military budget of the country has been cut three times compared to 2007-2008. The Ukrainian government is in a difficult situation, and it considers it important for other countries to open a second front against Russia. The current Georgian government will never do that for several reasons.

    First, Tbilisi's policy is aimed at not annoying the Kremlin. Secondly, our army is not capable of fighting Russia, Georgia has no air defence, and its anti-tank defence is weak. But Ukraine expects more from us and criticizes our authorities, as well as the French President and the German Chancellor.

    Criticism from the Ukrainian authorities is dangerous for the Georgian government because Zelenskyy and his team have high support among the Georgian population. There are unfavourable relations between our authorities due to this fact.

    - I would like to know your professional historian's opinion, on why in 1918, immediately after its formation, Armenia began to make territorial claims against its neighbours - Azerbaijan and Georgia?

    - In 1918, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, there were no united Georgia and Azerbaijan on the territory of the Caucasus. There were provinces - Baku, Yelizavetpol, Tiflis, Kutaisi and Iravan. The population of these provinces was mixed. For example, Georgians, Armenians, and Azerbaijanis lived in Borchali county. Different sides had different concepts of history. Our countries were at war with each other because of this, which was to the advantage of Russia and Turkiye, which together conquered and divided the Caucasus.

    As for Armenia, it had very difficult relations with Georgia and with Azerbaijan, while Baku and Tbilisi had very good relations. Georgia and Azerbaijan bordered Russia, which aimed to capture Baku and Tbilisi, and the presence of a common enemy brought us closer together. In addition, we were tied by a number of economic projects. Georgia needed Azerbaijani oil, and Azerbaijan needed a corridor for transit. In other words, we were dependent on each other.

    Armenia needed Batumi port and Georgian railroad, but it could not offer Georgia anything in return. In response, it opposed us on international platforms, claiming that Azerbaijan and Georgia had allegedly seized Armenia's lands. As a result, Baku did not give oil to Yerevan and Tbilisi did not give it the railroad. Therefore, we could not create a union in the Caucasus, as the Baltic states did.

    - What actions are Georgia taking to regain the Lori region?

    - None. Georgia, like Azerbaijan, recognizes the territorial integrity of neighbouring states, including the borders established since 1991. Only Russia and Armenia are trying to revise these borders. If we start looking for the borders of the past, the war will never end on our land. We must recognize the very fact of the inviolability of the borders of all three states of the South Caucasus.

    - Is peace possible between Armenians and Azerbaijanis?

    - This is a very complicated issue, and Georgia is most interested in this. As long as there is hatred between the societies of both countries, this will not happen.

    - How do you assess the current level of Georgian-Azerbaijani relations?

    - Economically we have very developed relations, Baku is one of the main investors in Georgia, it supplies us with energy resources, and it is a very important country for our energy security. I would wish that the length of our border would be reduced, and our countries would always be united in the Euro-Atlantic field.


caliber.azRead also
12 August 2022 - 16:31

"The impending crisis promises to be the most devastating in history" Russian energy expert Sergei Vakulenko for Caliber.Az

12 August 2022 - 13:19

“Some forces in Armenia willing to create tension in region at any cost” Caliber.Az’s interview with renowned Russian lawyer

12 August 2022 - 15:17

Balkans, Baltic States, Moldova – whose door will Russian-Ukrainian war knock on? Expert Oleg Bondarenkio in touch with Caliber.Az

11 August 2022 - 13:10

"There are no 'pro-Ukrainian' and 'pro-Russian' countries - all proceed from their own interests" Iya Kusa for Caliber.Az

10 August 2022 - 14:25

"After Russia, Washington to ratchet up pressure on China" Professor Glenn Diesen for Caliber.Az

09 August 2022 - 11:25

"Armenia has driven itself into a monstrous situation" Aleksandr Khramchikhin in touch with Caliber.Az

    Latest news

    Senegal pitches its gas as European option to Russia supply

    13 August 2022 - 13:23

    Ukraine says it can hit 'almost all' Russian supply lines in occupied south

    13 August 2022 - 13:13

    US inflation impacts low-income families, especially those with commuters

    13 August 2022 - 13:06

    North Korea lifts mask mandate, distancing rules after declaring COVID victory

    13 August 2022 - 12:46

    British intelligence chief gives disappointing prognosis for war in Ukraine

    13 August 2022 - 12:37

    Azerbaijani Defenсe Ministry leadership analyzes "Revenge" operation Zakir Hasanov gives instructions to officials

    13 August 2022 - 12:16

    Azerbaijan unveils denial reasons in accreditation for foreign journalists

    13 August 2022 - 11:55

    Novelist Salman Rushdie on ventilator after being stabbed in New York

    13 August 2022 - 11:54

    Montenegro gunman kills 11, then shot dead by police

    13 August 2022 - 11:43

    Azerbaijan approves rules for accreditation of foreign media

    13 August 2022 - 11:38

    Dry cargo ship Thoe with sunflower seeds leaves Chornomorsk port

    13 August 2022 - 11:31

    Azerbaijani president's speech causes panic among Armenian revanchists

    13 August 2022 - 11:25

    France refuses to create a joint device with Russia to study Venus

    13 August 2022 - 11:22

    Ex-separatist leader admits failure of Russia's military strategy in Ukraine

    13 August 2022 - 10:54

    Media: Erdogan, Biden may meet in New York in September

    13 August 2022 - 10:52

    WSJ: Ukraine needs $5 billion monthly to keep Its economy afloat

    13 August 2022 - 10:39

    Another war criminal dies in Armenia

    13 August 2022 - 10:28

    Turkish Airlines plane makes emergency landing in Baku

    13 August 2022 - 10:25

    UN chief appoints Abdulla of Sudan as coordinator for Black Sea Grain Initiative

    13 August 2022 - 10:23

    Diplomat says Russia warned US of ‘points of no return’ in bilateral relations

    13 August 2022 - 10:12

    International Army Games-2022 with participation of Azerbaijan get rolling today

    13 August 2022 - 10:07

    US remains concerned about Russia's violation of international humanitarian law

    13 August 2022 - 10:01

    Armenia addresses Georgia to consider maritime transport as “alternative” to Lars border-crossing point

    13 August 2022 - 09:41

    President Ilham Aliyev: We must return to Lachin, Zabukh and Sus Full text of interview/UPDATED

    13 August 2022 - 09:41

    Estonia to ban entry of Russian citizens from August 18

    13 August 2022 - 09:25

    Russia resumes oil supplies to Czech Republic

    13 August 2022 - 09:06

    Türkiye grants Crimean Tatars indefinite leave to remain

    13 August 2022 - 08:40

    Georgian doctor saves Tunisian wrestler at World Judo Juniors Championships

    13 August 2022 - 08:05

    Reuters: China's Taiwan military drills offer spying opportunity for US

    13 August 2022 - 07:31

    Georgian opposition: Russians purchased over 3,000 apartments in July

    13 August 2022 - 07:01

    Iran weighing EU's proposal on safeguards, sanctions, assurances - diplomat

    13 August 2022 - 06:32

    Poll reveals Russian public’s confidence in Putin surpasses 81%

    13 August 2022 - 06:02

    Scientists recreate the song of long-lost insect to help find it again VIDEO

    13 August 2022 - 05:31

    Motorola unveils world’s first phone with 200-megapixel camera

    13 August 2022 - 05:00

    When is the best time to post on TikTok?

    13 August 2022 - 04:20

    All news