Press Review of the Caucasus (December 21-27)

Press Review of the Caucasus (December 21-27)

Russia is ready to restore diplomatic relations with Georgia, but Tbilisi demands that Moscow review the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the newspaper ‘Free Georgia’ cites the words of the Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin. He said that diplomatic relations were severed with Georgia in 2008 after the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia was repulsed. "The Russian Federation, which helped to repulse the aggression against an internationally recognized party of the conflict, recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,’’ the diplomat said. ‘’Then the president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili made a decision to break diplomatic relations. In this mode we live."

"As for us,’’ Karasin continued, ‘’we are ready to restore diplomatic relations, but the Georgian authorities make conditions for Russia to withdraw recognition of the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,’’ Karasin also stressed that, even in these difficult circumstances, since 2012 Russia and Georgia have begun establishing relations on a number of issues. "And it has led us to where we are now," the diplomat said. Firstly, there is no atmosphere of open hostility in Georgian society or in Russian society regarding Georgia. We are establishing contacts between people, we develop trade, restore regular flights. This year, the passenger traffic between two countries increased by 90%,  the Deputy Foreign Minister said. He also praised the role of the Geneva Discussions on Transcaucasia, during which the situation on the borders between Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia was discussed. ‘’These are very important meetings, despite the fact that there are visually no special results, but it allows us to discharge the situation and discuss things that have been piling up as irritants for months. After each meeting, these irritants are discussed with the parties, with the participation of international organizations, the United States, and this contributes to an objective fact that there is no shooting. There are no massive military provocations or incidents," Karasin said.

The newspaper reminds that the representatives of the new Georgian government that came to power after the elections in October 2012 named normalizing relations with Russia as one of the top priorities of Georgia's foreign policy. At the same time, the Georgian authorities claim that they would not concede on the issue of territorial integrity. This position was confirmed a few days ago, and the special representative of the prime minister of Georgia, Zurab Abashidze, who recently said on the TV channel ‘Rustavi 2’ that the issue of the restoration of diplomatic relations with Russia could be on the agenda if serious steps were taken to restore the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.

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Regarding the the topic of possible sanctions against state officials of Azerbaijan by the United States, the Baku-published newspaper ‘Yeni Zaman’ wrote. So far, they have stated that they are not interested in imposing sanctions against Azerbaijan. 

The publication wrote that the West has been maintaining close ties with the government of Azerbaijan for more than 20 years. However, this time they were not speaking about any kind of sanctions. On the contrary, it was spoken about the strategic cooperation of the parties, the Americans and the Europeans do not hide their intentions to make Azerbaijan an important partner in the energy sector and a key transit link on the routes of energy transfer from the Caspian region to the West. Leaving aside all the various transport and energy projects that have been implemented over the years in Azerbaijan, the large-scale plans, which have been associated with this interaction, it is sufficient to note such strategic infrastructure  as the  currently acting oil pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan  and the gas pipeline Baku-Tbilisi- Erzurum, which is planned to be extended to southern Europe. Next year the  railway line Baku-Akhalkalaki - Kars will start to operate, which should become an important part of the ‘New Silk Road’, linking China with Europe. But recently, the US Congress has received  a bill prepared by the Helsinki Commission Chairman Christopher Smith, offering the imposition of sanctions against Azerbaijan for violating human rights in the country.

The Aide of the President Ali Hasanov called the bill a ‘hostile step’ which, in his opinion, does not reflect the position of the official Washington. He believes that the members of the Congress, assessing the interests of the United States, the importance of the partnership with Azerbaijan, are unlikely to approve the document.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal and State Building, Ali Huseynli noted that the recent activities of the Congress has intensified  under the influence of the certain circles and the Armenian lobby in the United States.They attempt to create a negative perception of the human rights situation in Azerbaijan under their influence, and thus to form an opinion that this is a  reason why the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh can not live together with Azerbaijanis. He said that if the US Congress accepts the bill presented by Christopher Smith , Azerbaijan will take retaliatory steps. The corresponding bill is being  prepared in the Milli Mejlis

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Last week a delegation of the Federation of Abkhaz cultural centers of Turkey consisting of 9 persons, headed by the Chairman Ahmet Ceylan (Hapat) made a working visit to Abkhazia, the news agency ‘Abkhazia-Inform’ reports. At a meeting with the republic's leadership, participants noted with satisfaction the great and important work carried out by the State Committee for Repatriation. Much has been made over the years to establish contacts with the Abkhaz diaspora in Turkey. "We talked about the plans, checked the position, will continue to carry out various projects. Our main task is not to lose the established relations with the Abkhaz diaspora. We need to develop a strategy and position to unite our people," the First Deputy Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Shamil Adzynba, said after meeting with the delegation. At the same time, he did not rule out the occurrence of certain difficulties for businessmen on the background of a deterioration in the Russian-Turkish relations. He noted that the production of the greenhouses created in Abkhazia by the immigrants from Turkey is actively sold on the Russian market. "I think that the  ‘black band’in the Russian-Turkish relations is temporary, because the peoples of Russia and Turkey, who want to live in peace and harmony, are interested in their improvement,’’  the prime minister said.

The chairman of the Federation, Ahmed Hapat, who in an interview with reporters said that the Abkhaz diaspora is sympathetic to the situation and wishes a speedy improvement of the Russian-Turkish relations, agreed with him. "We will work together, help each other and our Motherland. Of course, we are concerned about the complication of the Russian-Turkish relations. We are for cooperation and good neighborly relations between Russia, Turkey and Abkhazia", ​​he said. Ahmet Hapat said that before coming to Abkhazia, the representatives of the Federation met with the Turkish politicians, visited the Russian Embassy in Turkey, where also the concern was expressed about the events that had occurred and it was said that they are interested in a quick improvement of the Russian-Turkish relations. ‘’The Representatives of the Abkhaz diaspora want young people to have the opportunity to spend more time at home, so the relations with the Abkhaz diaspora never stop,’’ he said.

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In the last days of the year  Makhachkala held a long-awaited event - the largest  hemodialysis center that can serve up to three hundred patients a year was opened . As the newspaper ‘Dagestan truth’ was told by the initiator of the project, the coordinator of the company ‘Medtorgservis’, which is engaged in supply of hemodialysis machines to Russia, Oleg Samsonov, three years ago an investment project for the development of hemodialysis started in cooperation with the government in Dagestan. Within its framework all acting republic centers have been completely re-equipped. At the same time the representatives of the ‘Medtorgservisa’ made a proposal to build a new center for 50 seats  in Makhachkala, which was supported by the government of Dagestan.

The official opening of the center took place recently. Now one of the links of the hemodialysis services will be developed through the public-private partnerships, which is carried out by the branch of the ‘Medtorgservisa’, LLC ‘Everest’ and the HIF of the Republic. The Director General of LLC ‘Everest’, Andrew Aniskevich said the company has spent about 200 million rubles for this investment project. The equipment and supplies of the highest quality were purchased from the leading companies in Germany and Japan.

According to the chief doctor of the new center, Patimat Hajiyeva, the opening of the center will greatly relieve such clinics in the republic, which until now worked in four shifts. All procedures, including hemodialysis that costs about 6230 rubles, which patients require an average of three times a week, a patient will be given in full and for free. They are paid from the budget of the HIF in the presence of the medical insurance and related medical conditions.

According to the publication,   44 hemodialysis center are opened through Russia in the framework of the public-private partnership. Two of them are in the North Caucasus - in the republics of Ingushetia and North Ossetia. The center that was opened in Dagestan is the largest in the North Caucasus Federal District. The similar centers in Khasavyurt, Kizlyar and Derbent are at the stage of construction.

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A work to support the socially disadvantaged has been started in Ingushetia. According to the newspaper ‘Ingushetia’, one of its forms is the installation of the special terminal receiving clothes and shoes for the poor n the central avenue of the capital of the republic. You can not only pass used clothing that is still in a good conditions, but to take all necessary for you and your family things.

As the mayor of the city  Beslan Tsechoev said, this idea came recently, when he saw how people throw out old, but wearable clothes. According to him, this form is much more convenient and more practical than creating clothing items for the reception and has already aroused the interest of the citizens. In the near future, the terminals will be installed throughout the city.

The city administration will transfer the collected items to a charitable organization, which in turn will distribute it to the families in need. The Mayor's Office signed an agreement with the local charitable foundation ‘Tesam’, where the mechanism of interaction between the parties is established  in support of socially vulnerable population. Under the agreement, the parties will carry out joint development of charitable programs in the city and organize various charity events, especially a transfer of clothing, which will donate the capital's residents, to the poor people. It is assumed that the city authorities will provide fund both organizational and financial support.

In addition the country continues to support the low-income families through  the Fund of charitable activities ‘Solidarity’ created at the beginning of this year. Its budget  is formed mainly by voluntary transfers of the residents of their one-day earnings to their compatriots in need of assistance. According to the newspaper, only in November the fund  received 815 thousand rubles. Each appeal is considered by the Board of Trustees of the Fund, consisting of representatives of the clergy and public figures. They together with the administration of the settlement go to place to establish the accuracy of the stated situation and make the right decision.

The range of assistance is great, the article says. This is a provision of materials and labor for the repair of premises; and providing  for heating appliances for the cold season; and help in the treatment of non-residents. There are many of the families and, in particular, many children affected by the fire, or living in a very dilapidated buildings, whom the Foundation assists in the construction of individual housing.

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