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Javakh against NATO2011-12-20 17:19
Upon taking power, president Mikheil Saakashvili proclaimed Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia. The vector of Georgia's foreign policy has not changed over the past seven years - the republic is still yearning for NATO and EU membership. However, not everyone favors the idea.
In particular, residents of Samtskhe-Javakhetia region - mostly Armenians - are against Georgia's membership in NATO. These people are sure: results of the plebiscite carried out in 2008 demonstrating that Javakh wants to join NATO, were falsified.
As an official statement by Javakh Diaspora of Russia public organization runs, to get support for NATO accession from the population of the country Georgian authorities applied all legal and illegal methods. "According to the poll, over 70% of the population of Samtskhe-Javakhetia district voted for the country's NATO accession. However, Georgia's membership in the alliance is not wanted by the Armenian population of Javakh and could not be supported, - Gruzinform quotes. - On the basis of the foregoing, we state that Georgia's aspiration to become a member of the military and political organization contradicts political will of the Armenian population of Samtskhe Javakhetia region. And solution of such an important political issue considering falsifications and ignoring the opinion of the Armenian population of the region will push masses to the conflict, forcing us to announce secession".
We got in touch with the leader of Javakh diaspora of Russia Agasi Arabyan asking him to describe the sentiment in the region as well as local attitude to the policies pursued by the Georgian leaders.
Is it true that population of Javakhetia does not approve of Saakashvili's idea to make Georgia a NATO member?
- Recalling 2008 and the referendum, Georgia's average positive vote was nearly 70%. The same situation was in Samtskhe Javakhetia though I assure you that such figures are completely false. They are simply unreal. Firstly, Georgia neighbors on Turkey that is not a friend to Armenia at all. Accordingly, how can Armenians support NATO accession knowing that Ankara is pursuing a hostile policy toward Yerevan? If Georgia joins the North Atlantic treaty organization, this is not impossible that Javakhetia will host military bases, for instance. By the way, not long ago Turkey made a USD 1.5 mln shipment of weapons to Georgia for alleged reinforcement of borders. This pretext is used to make power structures stronger and increase the strength of local police force. We are alarmed at this fact.