Videoconference on Georgian-Russian Relations

On April 15, on the initiative of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) alongside Caucasian House organized a conference on the Georgian-Russian relations.

During the conference, Georgian and Russian analysts discussed current tendencies and possible scenarios of development of Georgian-Russian relations.

From Georgian side the first report was delivered by Giorgi Gobronidze, the invited lecturer at Georgian-American University. The report covered the topic on Challenges of International Terrorism in Georgia. The speaker described in detail the overall situation in the country and based on examples of other countries’ experience explained why Georgia does not represent the foreground target for international terrorism.

Maia Urushadze, the project manager at Caucasian House, presented a detailed report “State Policy of Georgia toward Muslim Community on the example of Pankisi Gorge”, which was based on the results of the research, conducted by the staff of Caucasian House. The speaker focused on the problems of Pankisi gorge and analyzed the state policy implemented in this direction. Moreover during the discussions, the author underlined the negative role of media coverage of events as well as the attempts of international actors to have a negative impact on the region.

The last speaker from Georgia was Mariam Gachechiladze, the researcher at Caucasian House, who covered the topic “Georgian Diaspora in Russia and Georgian-Russian Relations”. The reporter analyzed the activities of Georgian diasporic organizations from 2004 until 2012, based on main tendencies and on the results of research.

The following Russian counterparts took part in the discussion: director of the Department for Problems of Ethnic Relations at the Institute for Political and Military Analysis Sergey Markedonov with a report “Russia-Georgia: The Limits of Normalization or Normalization without Passing “Red Lines” and Nikolai Silaev, Senior Research Advisor at Center for the Regional Security and Caucasus Studies at MGIMO University, presented a report on scenarios of the development of Georgian political system after parliamentary elections 2016. The last two speakers from Russian side were: Andrei Diogtiov, the graduate student of MGIMO University in Comparative Politics with a report on Georgia’s Economy in the Space Regional Powers’ Contradictions and a member of the Georgian club of MGIMO University Zurab Shavlidze, who during his speech covered the topic on “Formats of Interaction between Russia and Georgia in the Absence of Diplomatic Relations.”

After the presentations, students of MGIMO and invited representatives of Georgian diaspora had an opportunity to ask questions and express their opinion.

The videoconference was organized by the Students’ Scientific Club of MGIMO University, supported by Aleksey Tokarev, analyst of the Global Problems Study Center at MGIMO University.

 

 

Public Discussion and Presentation and of the Policy Document

On March 28th  public discussion and presentation of the policy document: Georgia-Iran Relations and the New Challenges after the Nuclear Deal  was held at Caucasian House

The document was written in the framework of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” by a researcher Edisher Baghaturia. The paper discusses Georgian-Iran relations since 1991 and future prospects of cooperation after the Vienna Nuclear Deal. Perspectives for cooperation between the two countries are put in the context of balancing interests and influences of regional actors operating in Georgia

The first speech was delivered by a Minister counselor of Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Tbilisi Mohsen Kebriaeizadeh. He spoke about the relations between two countries and ongoing political processes in the region. Author of the document Edisher Baghaturia paid more attention to the importance of Iran-Georgia relations in the context of the security as well as on the political-economic benefits which Georgia can get from cooperation with Iran. The meeting was moderated by the head of the Islamic department at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze.

Interesting remarks were made after the presentation on Georgia-Iran relations by the Iranologists Giorgi Sanikidze and Niko Nakhutsrishvili.

The representatives from the public and civil sectors as well as representatives from TV and print media and Georgian and foreign students attended the meeting.

The project is funded by “Conflict, Stability and Security Fund” of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Caucasian House actively continues working on policy documents studying regional politics.

Conference: Islam in Georgia- State Policy and Vision from Regions

 

On April 5 a conference – “Islam in Georgia– State Policy and Vision from Regions’’  will by held by the Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House

The Conference covers such issues as theological and political aspects of Islam, also Georgian state policy toward Muslim minority. One session will be dedicated to the representatives of Muslim community from the regions. During the conference, the results and main findings of the qualitative social research on integration process of Georgia’s Muslim community conducted by Caucasian House will also be presented.

For further inquries please contact  Rauph Chichinadze (+995 592 810 810 E-mail:rauphi.chichinadze@caucasianhouse.ge )

 

The conference is held by Caucasian House with the financial support of British Embassy Tbilisi.

New Vision of Diaspora – International Experience and Georgian Reality

On March 23,  Caucasian house held a conference “New Vision of Diaspora  –  International Experience and Georgian Reality” in Rooms Hotel Tbilisi. The conference was organized in the framework of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation”, funded by British Embassy in Georgia.

The aim of the conference was sharing of the international diasporic experience and its promotion  regarding Georgian Diaspora in public-political spheres.  The conference was opened by the executive director of Caucasian House Giorgi Kanashvili alongside the representative of the British Embassy Tbilisi in Georgia Sopho Berishvili. Giorgi Kanashvili introduced the content of the project and emphasized the importance of paying attention to large Georgian Diaspora in Russia.  Sopho  Berishvili  talked  about  the  general directions and priorities of Conflict, Stability and Security Fund of British Embassy.

The  first  session  included  the  discussion  of  concrete  countries’  diasporic  experience  by Armenian,  Israeli and Ukrainian experts  and  academics, who focused on characteristics and development  of  diasporic  network,  the  possibility  of  diasporas’  contribution  to  the  social-economic development and how effectively counties with strong diasporas use those resources.

State  Minister  of  Georgia  for  Diaspora  Issues,  Gela  Dumabdze  talked  about  the contemporary approach of government of Georgia toward Georgian Diaspora.  The minister also mentioned that in this direction the work is in the process of rapid development and the interest from Georgian Diaspora’s side is growing as well.

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The second part of the conference was dedicated to the Georgian Diaspora living in Russia which is the biggest Georgian community living abroad. The speakers of the panel were Zurab Abashidze, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy in Relations with Russia and Boris Berulava, the representative of Georgian diasporic organization “Iveria”.  Zurab Abashidze, during his speech, emphasized the possible ways of incorporating Georgian Diaspora in the normalization of Georgian-Russian relations, though at the first stage Georgian Diaspora itself should be strengthened on the ground. As for the Boris Berulava, he spoke about the history of establishment of Georgian diasporic organization “Iveria” in St. Petersburg, its activities and underlined the importance of participation of Georgian side in their work.

Mariam Gachechiladze, the researcher at Caucasian House made the presentation of main findings of the research done by Caucasian House. The research was conducted in the frames of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” and its main aim was to identify how strong the Georgian Diaspora organizations are in Russia, how they manage to cooperate and what main problems they are facing during their work. According to the results of the research Georgian Diaspora in Russia has some tangible influence on Georgia; mainly on economy of Georgia (money transfers).  Finally, as Georgian Diaspora doesn’t have institutionally established forms of network it should be enhanced by Georgia.

Competition for Participation in the Forum: New Challenges in the South Caucasus and the Georgian-Russian Relations

The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House invites Georgian experts to participate in the upcoming meeting between Georgian and Russian analysts. The meetings will be held in the framework of “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” project on February 27-28, 2015.

Project description

Caucasian house has been implementing the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” since 2011 with the financial support of British Embassy, Tbilisi. The aim of the project is the encouragement of open dialogue between Georgian and Russian researchers and the development of recommendations and political alternatives for the decision makers.

In the framework of the above mentioned dialogue, Georgian and Russian experts regularly visit Georgia and Russia. The participants of the projects are granted an opportunity to meet officials and independent experts and to take part in bilateral roundtables in order to discuss current issues related to Russian-Georgian relationship and regional issues as well.
The next meeting will be held in Bakuriani on February 27-28. The topics for discussion are: the security of the South Caucasus – the radicalization of Islam and the deterioration of the relations between Russia and Turkey; Russian-Georgian economic relations and energy security of the region.

All costs including transportation, accommodation, meals are covered by The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House.

Eligibility

In order to be considered eligible to apply, you must fulfill all of the following criteria
Call for: citizens on Georgia
Age: 23-45
Professional qualification: researchers, journalists, academics, the representatives of non-governmental organizations and state agencies.
Working language: Russian

Selected candidates will be interviewed. Georgian participants will be selected by The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House. Russian participants will be selected by the A.Gorchakov Fund in Support of Public Diplomacy

Application procedure:

Please send you CV and cover letter in which you express your motivation to participate in the project to the following e-mail: maia.urushadze@caucasianhouse.ge
Deadline for accepting the applications: 09.02.2016

 

The project is funded by the British Embassy Tbilisi.

Conference on: Policy of Conflict Resolution: Achievements and Challenges of the Last Three Years

The Centre for Cultural Relations – Caucasian House and the Institute for Study of Nationalism and Conflicts are organizing the conference “Policy of conflict resolution: Achievements and challenges of the last three years” which will be held on November 27th, 16:00 at Tbilisi Marriott.

The conference aims at formulating the proper recommendations while assessing the existing approaches of the government’s policy regarding the Georgia’s conflicts.

Focus of the meeting will be on the state policy of conflict resolution during the last three years. This period of time requires objective analysis and assessment in order new ways of solving problems to emerge and to avoid new challenges.

The meeting will bring together the members of the government and non-governmental organizations, experts and representatives of embassies accredited in Georgia.

Meeting is held in the frames of the project “Revitalizing Dialogue Process through Engaging Young Professionals” with the financial assistance of the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

All roads lead to Tbilisi

The city of Tbilisi is located in Georgia at 41.7167° North Latitude and 44.7833° East Longitude. It is about 300 kilometers away from Georgia’s western border and about 140 kilometers away from the Georgian-Azerbaijani border in the east. One can travel from the northernmost to the southernmost point of Georgia in one day. Regardless Georgia’s geographical compactness, it took about 300 hours for me to reach Tbilisi after the landing at Kutaisi International Airport. The reason of this discrepancy is a great detour, made by two Lithuanian travelers.

Since the very beginning of our journey we met many good people: Mancho, Georgian driver who took us even before we raised our hands to hitchhike from Kutaisi to Zugdidi, drove his two new friends to the local market, showing us the town at the same time. Despite the fact that we started our trip in the beginning of September, the weather was hot and heavy in Zugdidi. Therefore our plan to reach Mestia became even more tempting.

So we made it. It is not easy to raise your thumbs under the burning Zugdidi sun, but it seems that Georgia is not that kind of country where you will be left on the road. The driver who picked us up by his small cargo car was very kind to stop at every nice spot on the way, letting us take some pictures:

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There are many things to do in Mestia, and the trip plan depends on one’s personal taste. Since we are used to sleep in a tent, our nights in Mestia went under the open sky. We went on a hike to the Chaladi glacier, where baby bear welcomed us together with border officers.

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On our way back we met a nice Georgian couple – they not only drove us back to Mestia, but also offered us to join them and go to the top of the mountain, where two lakes can be found:

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From Mestia we decided to go down to Zugdidi, this time by marshrutka, and reach Martvili, located in Samegerelo region, and surrounded by rivers and waterfalls. It’s also the place where we learned about Georgian hospitality in a hard way: if you receive an offer to come and share some food or drinks with your Georgian friends, regardless of your wishes, you go.

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But to swim in a river is not enough for two travelers from one of the Baltic states – we headed out to the sea. Kobuleti was chosen as our first sea-stop, and this town showed us how to trust each other (especially during the storm, while trying to keep the tent on the ground), and how to eat khinkali.

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Kobuleti with all its cows walking on the sea shore was also not enough for us, so we reached Batumi. The thing is that we were still thirsty for the sea, rather than gloss and glory, therefore Sarpi became our third stop.

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During our long trip around the northern and western parts of Georgia we were traveling by walk, by marshrutkas, and by different cars we stopped. As a reward, we came back to Batumi to take the night-train to Tbilisi.
Only then we reached it, the place where I’m going to stay until the end of the year. But that is another story about my internship at „Caucasian House“, studies at Tbilisi State University and many other projects.