Prime Minister I. Garibashvili meets with Ph. Reeker, Senior Adviser of the US Department of State for Caucasus Negotiations and the Geneva International Discussions

Published in Politics
Monday, 12 September 2022 11:08

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili held a meeting with Philip Reeker, Senior Adviser of the US Department of State for Caucasus Negotiations and the Geneva International Discussions.

Irakli Garibashvili congratulated Philip Reeker on his appointment to a new position and wished him success in his future endeavors. According to the Prime Minister, Georgia is a reliable partner and loyal ally of the US in the region and beyond. Irakli Garibashvili and Philip Reeker discussed the war in Ukraine and the difficult regional and global security situation. The conversation also touched on the dire state of affairs in Georgia’s occupied territories. Irakli Garibashvili highlighted the critical importance of peaceful conflict resolution. In this context, the significance of the Geneva International Discussions was underlined.
Philip Reeker reassured the Prime Minister of the strong support of the United States for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The conversation also revolved around the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, achieved through Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s mediation and Philip Reeker’s engagement, as a result of which Azerbaijan released Armenian POWs, while Armenia handed over important maps to Azerbaijan.
The issues discussed also included Georgia’s European integration. According to Irakli Garibashvili, the European Council, by granting the European perspective to Georgia, confirmed that Georgia’s future is in the EU, and that Georgia remains committed to its European path.
The meeting at the Administration of the Government was attended by US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan and Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili.
Press Service of the Government Administration

THE DIASPORA AND CAUCASUS ISSUES COMMITTEE HEARD INFORMATION ON THE IMPLEMENTED AND SCHEDULED PROJECTS

Published in Politics
Thursday, 28 April 2022 14:16

The Committee heard information on the implemented and scheduled projects by Shota Rustaveli National Science Fund of Georgia, introduced by the CEO of the Fund, Jaba Samushia.

The projects of the Fund include the scientific grant competition for the joint researchers with the compatriots abroad – 9 projects have been already funded within this project.

“The key aspect of this project is that our researchers working in the leading Universities abroad keep being connected with the homeland and even share their experience with the Georgian specialists”, - the reporter noted.

Yet another important project is the scientific research competition for the Georgian material and spiritual heritage in Georgia and abroad envisaging the study of the Fereydani dialect. This year, the Fund finances also the study of the Ingiloy dialect. The Fund also works on mobility and conference grants to enhance the links with the Diasporas, it develops a new direction and finances the international conferences, which means that the Georgian subject will be widely discussed at an international level.

The reporter noted that the Fund is engaged in Horizon Europe’s international program allowing the Georgian scientists to gain European financing.

The Chair of the Committee, Beka Odisharia positively estimated the information and offered the financing of some more projects connected to the Diasporas.

“It would be important for the Fund to also finance some projects for certain Diasporas. The Committee will provide any possible aid in this process and your new endeavor shall be extended over Diasporas and thus, be successful”, - he stated.

​David Zalkaliani has met with the newly appointed Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for the South Caucasus

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 15 March 2022 17:20
On 9 March 2022, the Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, David Zalkaliani, met with the newly appointed Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus, Viorel Moșanu, Co-Chair of the Geneva International Discussions.

The sides discussed the difficult security environment in the region in the wake of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the challenges facing Georgia.
They stressed the need for Russia to fulfill its international obligations, including under the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement. Discussions also focused on the Georgian Government’s policy and efforts to resolve the Russian-Georgian conflict peacefully.
The sides highlighted the difficult security, humanitarian and human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia and stressed the need for the active involvement of European and international partners.
Particular attention was paid to the ongoing Geneva International Discussions.  Highlighting the need to use the format effectively, the sides also stressed the importance of restoring the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali without any preconditions and of holding regular meetings in Ergneti.
At the end of the meeting, Viorel Moșanu confirmed that, in his capacity as Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus and Co-Chair of the Geneva International Discussions, he will spare no effort to ensure active and results-oriented engagement in the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

South Caucasus in the new geopolitical realities

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 20 October 2021 10:00

By Zaal Anjaparidze

While foreign policy identities so significantly diverge in the South Caucasus (SC), there is one key common denominator that ties the regional counties together – the interconnectedness of security risks. Those risks together with the opportunities have become more visible and tangible after the latest 44-day war in Karabakh, which entailed new geopolitical realities in the region. What is worth noting part of the risks and opportunities for SC countries largely emanate from the immediate neighborhood.  On the other hand, the interconnected and interdependent nature of security in the SC goes beyond its neighborhood, because each country - Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan has its own complex and multilayered geopolitical identity. 

In this context, the initiative of a six-nation cooperation platform comprising Turkey, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in December 2020, shortly after the end of the war over the disputed Karabakh created a window of opportunity for permanent peace, stability, and cooperation in the region. At the same time, the initiative has stumbled over the existing contradictions between some of the named member-states. The exemplary case was the statement by Georgia’s Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani that albeit Tbilisi finds it “very hard” to join the “3+3 platform,” the country should still seek ways to engage in the prospective infrastructure projects in the region. His statement was promptly disavowed by the other Georgian officials. They underlined that Georgia will not join “3+3 format” because of the presence of Russia with whom Georgia disrupted diplomatic relations after the Russian-Georgian war in 2008 and occupation of Georgia’s secessionist regions by Russia after recognition of their state independence. Georgian Foreign Ministry claimed that the engagement of Georgia in the major geopolitical projects should not be undertaken at the expense of national interests and concessions to the occupier country (Russia).

While Russia-leaning groups in Georgia support “3+3” platform arguing that Georgia must pursue pragmatic and realistic politics reckoning with its neighborhood and geopolitical environment, pro-western forces vehemently oppose it. They consider the engagement of Georgia, the sole ally of the West, in the “3+3” platform where the EU and USA are absent will definitely result in damaged relations with the western partners. Besides, opponents of “3+3” platform argue that Georgia and Armenia will be in this alliance rather as “junior partners” than equitable members as compared to more powerful Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan.

It’s worth noting that recently Russia has decided to revitalize “3+3 format.” Most likely Moscow did so either to pursue its own interests and gain more dominance in the region, or play along with Turkey in order to prevent attempts of the West to reclaim the ground in the region that it has lost after the second war in Karabakh.

However, it’s still unclear how and whether “3+3” format will be able to keep the mutually acceptable balance of political, military and economic interests. The attitude of Iran is exemplary in this context. If the geopolitical order in the South Caucasus before the second war in Karabakh has been relatively acceptable for Tehran, nowadays the situation is different. Iran is sending clear signals to Azerbaijan and Turkey about the unacceptability of the changed geopolitical reality in the region. Thus, Tehran is going to play a more proactive role in the formation of the new rules of the game in South Caucasus and not only politically. Iran has already has announced an agreement between Iran and Armenia for establishing a new alternative transit route for Iranian trucks bypassing the Azerbaijan-controlled 20-km section, where the trucks are required to pay tolls. The northern part of the route will go through Georgia. Like Tehran, Moscow is also not happy with the excessive strengthening of the role of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the region.

However, whatever the plans of the initiators of “3+3,” the initiative largely remains declarative, so far and there are no tangible indicators that it will be “fleshed out” in the near future.  Geopolitical contradictions between the key players of the “3+3” format – Russia, Turkey, and Iran, the persisting confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia and standalone Georgia, with its pro-western stance, make materialization of “3+3” even more uncertain

Despite various speculations, today the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia seems more realistic because the second war in Karabakh has changed a lot from the geopolitical and geo-economical points of view. Presumably, reckoning with these new realities Armenia perceives the situation in the more realistic prism. Improvement of relations with Turkey, including the opening of borders and new transport communications are the tools that could relieve long-term bilateral confrontation and contribute to peace in the region.   

Georgia lacks official military-political allies in difference from Armenia and Azerbaijan. Strengthening the influence of Russia and Turkey around Georgia with the weakening influence of the West in the region leaves Georgia in a vulnerable position. This affects Georgia’s role as a transit country and may leave it on the margins of anticipated grand regional projects.

Russia and Turkey are highly likely to do their best to lure Georgia somehow into the “3+3” platform and persuade Armenia to join the platform despite persisting tensions with Azerbaijan.

It appears that Tbilisi and Yerevan must decide whether the benefits of joining “3+3” in any form will overweigh geopolitical risks. These risks are far greater for Georgia because joining “3+3” may significantly damage its relations with the West. These relations are already strained due to the latest political developments in the country highly criticized by the West.

Fragile peace after the armistice in Karabakh supported by Russian peacekeepers and the Turkish military observers revealed a tangle of problems waiting for settlement. Currently the most notable are the continued tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia manifested in the armed clashes at times and increasing tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran. The latter considers itself unfairly outflanked during the peace talks on the resolution of the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani armed conflict.

By repeated but still less successful attempts to act as a mediator in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Georgia is highly likely aiming at finding its unique niche in the new geopolitical realities. However, subdued reactions from Baku and Yerevan indicate that none of them is in the mood to see Georgia as a key mediator given the Russian and Turkish factors.  Georgia, which perhaps has more at stake in peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia than does any other third country, has ample reason for concerns over the actions of Turkey to say nothing about Russia. Ankara’s new geopolitical assertiveness is a wild card with unpredictable implications for Tbilisi. Possible Turkish-Armenian reconciliation will enhance Armenia’s regional role and will offer the latter a better bargaining position with Georgia with the attendant consequences.

CONCLUSION

The complex geopolitical theatre of the South Caucasus exerts significant influence on the foreign policy identities of the region’s countries. Intra-regional conflicts make the region highly exposed to the influences of its larger neighbors, which play a significant role in shaping the regional security dynamics.

At the same time, membership within or orientation towards the conflicting alliances strengthens intra-regional rifts, further decreasing the chances of peaceful conflict resolution in the region. To this end, “3+3” platform can be considered as one of the possible but not an ideal tool for keeping a relative balance of powers and interests of the key regional players. But the attempt to supplant the West as a non-regional player, is fraught with risks given the strategic interests of the latter in the regions.

Despite the strong divergence in foreign policy and alliance choices of the three South Caucasus states, strategic multilateral partnerships within the region and with the region’s immediate neighbors, appear to be the best possible option to transform fragile stability into a lasting cooperation framework, which in turn is a path to sustainable peace. However, existing tensions between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia on the delimitation and demarcation of state borders, as well as ownership of historical-cultural monuments in the disputed border areas, don’t contribute to the development of full-fledged partnership.

Visa appoints Diana Kiguradze as Senior Director, Country Manager for Caucasus

Published in Society
Wednesday, 02 June 2021 11:09

In her new role, Diana Kiguradze will focus on growing the electronic payments business in Georgia and Armenia by enhancing the value Visa provides to banks, merchants, and cardholders.

Tbilisi, Georgia – June 2, 2021 – Visa today announced the appointment of Diana Kiguradze as Senior Director, Country Manager for the Caucasus region. In her new role, Diana Kiguradze will focus on growing the electronic payments business in Georgia and Armenia by enhancing the value Visa provides to banks, merchants, and cardholders.

"We are pleased to introduce Diana Kiguradze as a new Country Manager in the Caucasus. Diana has demonstrated her dedication and passion alongside the team of professionals in the Caucasus region, and we have no doubt she will play a key role in accelerating Visa’s expansion in the region by driving our strategy forward,” said Vira Platonova, SVP, Group Country Manager for Visa, Ukraine, Georgia & CISSEE.

Diana came to Visa in 2018, and as a Business Development Director managed clients in Georgia and Armenia. Diana is a great contributor to the Caucasus strategy as a whole supporting Products and Marketing, Fintechs and Digital Payments with her energy, proactivity and passion that has helped deliver outstanding results. Diana has more than 15 years of experience in retail banking, sales, business development, cards and digital channels. Prior to joining Visa, she was leading TBC Bank’s Remote Sales department and Cards Development department in VTB Bank Georgia. Earlier she was managing Smart Club as well as leading cards and remote products sales in TBC.

In her new role, Diana Kiguradze replaces Cristina Doros, who recently celebrated her five-year anniversary with Visa and with extremely well-deserved recognition of her strong performance and professionalism has been promoted to VP, Country Manager for Central Asia and Azerbaijan.

“I am delighted to step into my new role at Visa and thankful for this exciting opportunity. Having worked closely with our business partners, clients, and regulators over the past years, I am proud of Visa's leading role in driving digital payments in Caucasus. In my new position, I plan to focus on expanding this heritage by introducing innovative digital payment products and solutions,”Diana Kiguradze said.

###

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere.  As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE

News Release of the Visa Inc.

Visa announced the appointment of Cristina Doros as Visa Country Manager for Caucasus Region

Published in Economics
Thursday, 04 July 2019 16:44

Kyiv, Ukraine – July 4, 2019 - Visa today announced the appointment of Cristina Doros as Visa Country Manager for Caucasus region. In her new role, Cristina Doros will focus on growing the electronic payments business in Caucasus region by increasing Visa’s footprint in these markets, and enhancing value it provides to banks, merchants, and cardholders.

We are excited to announce the appointment of Cristina Doros to the position of Country Manager of Caucasus. With proven management and leadership skills, an in-depth knowledge of payments and a strong understanding of the regional business, I am confident that Cristina will lead the business to greater heights reflecting the importance we place on the countries of Caucasus region,” said Vira Platonova, SVP, Group Country Manager for Visa CISSEE.

Cristina Doros brings more than 20 years of experience in retail banking, information technology, innovations, cards and mobile payments. Since 2016, Cristina joined Visa to lead the regional Core Products team, and has been acting Vice-President, head of Solutions, Visa CISSEE since 2019 overseeing Core products (Debit, Credit and Premium), Loyalty platform development, Digital Solutions and Push Payments, all foundational for the proliferation of electronic payments. Remarkable milestones of Cristina’s professional successes include enhancement of Premium benefits, launch of Loyalty program in Ukraine and Belarus, contribution to launching Tap to Phone SME technology, etc.

After my fascinating experience as a head of Visa CISSEE Products team, I am thrilled to lead Visa business in the Caucasus region. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to bring more innovations and benefits to our clients and partners and to strengthen our presence in the market, shaping the future of payments and driving innovations across the region.”- CristinaDoros said.

***

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

For more information, visit About Visa, visa.com/blog and @VisaNews.

 

About Visa

Anna Serdyuk

Director, Corporate Communications

Visa CIS&SEE

+38 044 22 00 300

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pope Francis meets delegation from Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 02 December 2016 14:42

Pope Francis on Thursday greeted a delegation of faithful from the Apostolic Administration of the Caucuses who were in Rome to thank the Holy Father for his recent Apostolic Visit to Georgia. Pope Francis told the delegation their visit brought him many memories of his trip. “I never thought I would find in Georgia what I saw: The culture, spirituality, a people that praises Jesus Christ as the Savior, because it is a Christian population,” – the Pope said – “It was for me a great joy.”
He said he was also personally impressed by the person of Ilia II of Georgia, saying “I perceived there a man of God.” While acknowledging the problems faced by the small Catholic community, Pope Francis said he thought they would find a way “without forcing the issue, to slowly walk together.”
The Pope concluded by remarking on the different faithful he met, calling the responsibility of the laypeople “a great thing,” and thanking the priests and religious for their work. “Go forward!” – Pope Francis said – “This work is like yeast, to make the thing grow. Thank you very much! And do not forget to pray for me.”

Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Published in Economics
Thursday, 15 October 2015 08:35

Silk Road Tbilisi 2015 forum started today.

Following the success of the inaugural Routes Silk Road in July of last year, the 2015 event, once again takes place in Tbilisi hosted by United Airports of Georgia (UAG) under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

Routes Silk Road 2015 is the route development forum that connects CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. Located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Georgia is a bridge connecting several important economic regions including Europe, the Newly Independent States (NIS), Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia region. Its geographic location makes the country the transportation hub for commerce and job creation.

The event will be attended by delegates  700 from all over the World.

 

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