What is 'Javakhk' up to?
The head of the radical nationalist organization 'Javakhk' Aghasi Arabyan recently held a meeting with the ambassador of South Ossetia to Russia Znaur Gasiev in Moscow. 'Javakhk' and its leader position themselves as representatives of the Armenian population of the South Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, a significant part of the population of which is Armenians, still living peacefully alongside Georgians.
As we have seen from recent developments in the village of Kumurdo, where clashes took place for the first time at the instigation of radical nationalists, many in this region do not want peace. The role of 'Javakhk' in steering up emotions over the 10th century Georgian church has yet to be discussed on the basis of statements made by extremists and some provocative publications. However, in this case, the new agenda of the meeting of Aghasi Arabyan and Znaur Gassiyev is interesting. The leader of the extremist organization, which controls the destructive actions of 'Javakhk' from a distance, offers veiledly to occupy several areas of internal Georgia in order to "cut through the corridor" from Samtskhe-Javakheti to South Ossetia.
Such "creative" proposals of the leader of the nationalist organization make us pay attention to 'Javakhk' as a destructive force one more time, whose activities do not contribute to pacification and cooperation, but contribute to the outburst of emotions and confrontation in a complex region with a whole array of economic, social and political challenges. In one of his sensational interviews, speaking about the meeting with the Armenian Ambassador, Mr. Arabyan "pushes" the demagogic thesis, which is a characteristic of nationalists of all times, countries and peoples: "We have repeatedly advocated the autonomy of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region as part of Georgia, for the federal or confederal organization of Georgia, which would allow it to preserve its territorial integrity." Nobody gets hysterical because of such "ideas", but the demagogy itself is very noteworthy: compare an "autonomy" to a "confederation" and what's "territorial integrity" got to do with this?
All these euphemisms, contrary to their essence, serve only one purpose - the consolidation of extremists and the camouflage of separatist plans. The Caucasus scholar Mamuka Areshidze told Vestnik Kavkaza that these plans are very dangerous, because the population of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region has "a lot of unregistered weapons".
Fortunately, the absolute majority of the Armenian population in Samtskhe-Javakheti, including the Javakheti region, does not support Arabyan's extremist ideas, since they are not inclined to look for new "adventures" threatening their peaceful coexistence and development. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which was opened recently, serves this purpose - the development of the whole of Georgia, including Samtskhe-Javakheti and its hardworking multi-ethnic population.
The Georgian city of Akhalkalaki, the absolute majority of which population are ethnic Armenians, has become the "transshipment point" of the BTK, which connects China and Europe. Perhaps the activation of the 'Javakhk' extremist group and its leader aims to provoke problems for the further development of communication "projects of the century," among other things.
However, a political scientist Tornike Sharashenidze, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the plans of the Javakhk extremists will not come true: "Of course, they are trying to shake up the situation in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, but much has changed for the better there in recent years." According to the interlocutor, Yerevan should understand that the acquiescence in extremist views and actions may cause a catastrophe of the Armenian state, while the break-up of Georgia "will surely lead to Armenia's complete loss of independence." Sharashenidze cannot imagine that someone in Yerevan, being of sound mind, would support Arabyan's crazy ideas for seizing Georgian territories and provoking war.