Exclusive interview of the professor International Black Sea University (Tbilisi Georgia) Mr. Nika Chitadze
How do you assess the situation in the Black Sea region after the Russian-Ukrainian incident in the Azov Strait?
In my point of view, by the military action in the Kerch Strait, Russia tries to blockade Azov Sea, create the economic problems for the Eastern part of Ukraine and demonstrate the muscles before Ukraine and western democratic community.
From its turn, I think that in respond, NATO and USA will somehow try to activate there action in the Black Sea Region. Most probably, the purpose of Washington related the withdrawal of American troops from Syria and give the chance for Turkey for the military action on the territory of Syria can be to restore the normal relations between Washington and Ankara, first of all related to the Black Sea Region. It is known, that without Turkey activation of USA and NATO in Black Sea Region will be difficult.
So, most probably it is not the coincidence, that The U.S. Navy’s dock landing ship Fort McHenry entered in the Black Sea.
What did new bring the last presidential elections to Georgia?
The victory in the second tour by Salome Zurabishvili was determined by the following factors. Majority of employees from the different public and governmental agencies on the central and municipal level supported the candidature of Zurabishvili. One of the pro-russian oriented political party, which is represented at the parliament of Georgia (during the last parliamentary elections it gained 5% of voters) – “Patriots Alliance” openly declared about supporting the Zurabishvili`s candidature at the second tour. But, the main problem was interrelated with the using of administrative resources by the government for the supporting the “independent” candidate.
Thus, many international observers pointed out about violations during the pre-election campaign and during the elections day itself. This factor seriously damaged the development of democratic institutions in Georgia.
One of the clear example of it is the fact, that according the index of democracy – presented by the analytical company: The Economist Intelligence Unit, indexes of Georgia are strongly deteriorated. Particularly, by 10-scale system, in 2017 the index of Georgia was 5,93 scores, as a result of the presidential elections, this scores have been fallen till 5,50 in 2018.
In the general rate, among the different states, Georgia has 89-th place, when in 2017 country was at the 79-th place.
Is it possible to expect activation of trade and economic relations not only with the EU, but also with the EAEU?
In this regard it is necessary to point out, that about 30% of the foreign trade of Georgia is coming on the share of CIS countries, first of all on the members of the Eurasian Economic Union if we take into consideration the fact, that according to the statistical dates of 2017 and 2018, Russia was the second main foreign-economic partner of Georgia (It is paradox , but reality). Volume of trade between Georgia and Russia prevailed 1 billion USD.
Taking into consideration, that there are many goods, which are produced in Georgia, which have some obstacles for their export on the European market (anyway volume of export of Georgian product to EU prevails 400 Million USD), many Georgian entrepreneurs will be oriented on EAEU market too.