The International Centre on Conflict and Negotiation (ICCN) held a presentation of a research undertaken in Georgia after the 2012 Elections and the prospects for Russian-Georgian relations at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on February 4.
The authors of the research are Russian analyst and a scholar from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations from the Caucasus Problem Centre Nikolay Silaev and Andrey Sushentsov who is also a scholar and political analyst from the Department of Applied Analysis for the International Problems of the same institute.
The major target of the research was to fill the informational gap in the direction of normalization of Georgian-Russian relations after the recent parliamentary elections in October 2012. Russian scholars conducted several studies in Georgia on the ground in 2012, meeting officials, public figures and members of civil society.
The research covered various topics, including postponing the process of normalization of relations between the two countries, Georgian post-election period, the issues of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia’s policy towards the North Caucasus, NATO and regional security, trade-economic relations, humanitarian cooperation and some recommendations.
Different aspects of these issues were also highlighted:
the influence of the results of the elections on the prospects of normalization of bilateral relations between the two countries;
potential for cooperation between Tbilisi, Moscow, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali in the economy, transportation and humanitarian directions;
prospects of Georgia’s North Caucasus policy;
Euro-Atlantic integration potential for Georgia and its influence on regional security.
Director of ICCN Giorgi Khutsishvili opened the session welcoming the leading Georgian political analysts and public figures who attended the presentation. Special envoy to Georgian-Russian relations Zurab Abashidze and Russian political analysts Pheodor Lukianov also welcomed the gathering.
After the presentation Georgian analysts Ivliane Khaindrava, Lado Papava, Sergi Kapanadze and Nana Devdariani presented their views on the research. The fact of scholarly cooperation over the acute issue – bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries was positively evaluated, although Georgian analysts also highlighted that the research was written from a pro-Russian point-of-view of the evaluation of the facts. Different evidences were produced revealing such an attitude. Later Russian scholars explained their position by answering questions to the public. Overall, the attitude of the Georgian side was positive concerning the fact itself which could signify a kind of a breakthrough in the relations of the two countries.