Of all the candidates now in the race to become the next president of Armenia, only Raffi Hovannisian has anything to say in his election platform regarding the Armenian populated region of Javakhk in Georgia.
Hovannisian, when discussing his goals in foreign affairs, points to Javakhk in particular, and calls for transforming Armenian relations with Georgia to the level of a “developing partnership”.
“Bilateral, multi-level cooperation as the path to resolving the national-civil issues in Javakhk, which serves as a factor in the national security of Armenia,” Hovannisian’s platform reads.
The other candidates, including President Sargsyan, make no mention of Javakhk in their platforms even though many Javakhk Armenians have received RA citizenship since 2008 so that they can travel to Russia for seasonal work.
Readers will remember that at the time of the last presidential election in 2008, those Javakhk groups supporting Serzh Sargsyan organized a mass influx of Javakhk Armenians to ensure sufficient votes for Sargsyan.
It can’t be ruled out that they’ll do the same this year.
All the candidates, except for Hrant Bagratyan, have avoided any comment on what their long-term vision is vis-a-vis relations to Georgia.
Bagratyan says he seeks to raise the level of friendly relations that now exist and to quicken and enlarge the processes of economic integration between the two neighbours.
“We will welcome and assist the efforts of the Georgian authorities to reopen the Georgian-Abkhaz railway. We express our willingness to do all within our ability to assist the Georgian government in coming up with constructive solutions to the problems raised by Armenian citizens of Georgia and their community institutions,” Bagratyan’s platform reads.