Nugzar Gogorishvili, Chairman of the Union For Peaceful Development of the Southern Caucasus (Tbilisi, Georgia)

The Southern Caucasus is not merely the crossroads of the North-South and East-West transportation and communication routes. It is the place where the ambitions of the most influential actorsRussia, Western Europe and Americaclash.

For various reasons, Russia is obviously the most influential regional force, its impact is felt in Georgias Samtskhe-Javakhetia region in particular, therefore the situation there should be considered in the context of Russias influence.

Over the past ten years, Samtskhe-Javakhetia has been repeatedly discussed by politicians, state and public figures, as well as all kinds of experts. The region figured in numerous official state and interstate as well as public projects designed to carry out sociological research there, improve its social and economic infrastructure, and remedy other local ills. Tens of millions of U.S. dollars supplied by all sorts of international organizations (the EU, Council of Europe, OSCE) and local and international foundations based in the U.K., Germany, and the U.S. were poured into these efforts.

Today, however, no one can say that the state and the public sector have achieved concrete results: just like back in the 1990s, the local people are still complaining about social and economic problems and feel abandoned by the Georgian central authorities and..

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