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Russia attempts to further undermine Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 15
After Georgia regained its independence 20 years ago, Russian special services attempted to undermine the country in different ways. The most profitable has been the encouragement of confrontation and unrest in the non-ethnic-Georgian populations. The ultimate outcome of that policy was two wars and two breakaway regions.

From time to time, other Russian efforts at sabotage come to light. Recently, the Javakhk group has come into the news. Javakhk is the Armenian name for the Javakheti region of Georgia, where there is a large Georgian population of Armenian origin. Until 2008, this region hosted a Russian military base at Akhalkalaki. Javakhk is active in both Javakheti and Russia; in 2011 it received recognition from the Russian Ministry of Justice. Its primary goal is to provoke confrontation and create social and political unrest. Recently, Javakhk headquarters in Moscow sent an open letter to Prime Minister Putin, urging him to protect the rights of those Armenian-Georgians in Javakheti and cited the Russian Federation's "protection" of the rights of South Ossetians and Abkhazians as a model.

This is a clear attempt to get Russia further involved in sovereign Georgian politics. The group has also asked Putin to "inform" the international community about the problems in Javakheti. Javakhk leaders want to present any kind of economic or social hardship as specifically anti-Armenian in design.

The Javakhk appeal to the Russian Prime Minister deliberately distorts the facts and encourages Russia to deepen its anti-Georgian position. The timing of this appeal is particularly interesting, as the situation in the Middle East and in the South Caucasus region is already tense.

There are speculations in the media, especially Russian sources, that in case of a military confrontation with Iran, Moscow will need ground access to its military base located in Armenia, prompting Russia to demand from Georgia the opening of a supply corridor. This could set the stage for another deadly clash between the two countries.

At the moment, it is clear that Javakhk hopes to cause problems for the Georgian government and maybe even instigate another "hot" internal territory dispute.