‘We need one more road to Georgia, repair it immediately!’ – Putin
23 October, 2014
‘We need one more road to Georgia, repair it immediately!’ – Putin
The restoration of the Avar-Kakheti road is in the strategic interest of Russia. It will render Eastern Georgia completely unprotected.

Recently, the laying of a road from Dagestan to the Kvareli region has once again become a relevant issue. This has caused a diverse reaction in Georgia as well as in Dagestan.
The path from the North Caucasus to Georgia through the Main Caucasian Ridge existed from the 19th century. For Tsarist Russia it was a means of communication, and
had strategic significance because in case the Ottoman Empire invaded the South Caucasus, Russian army units could promptly be moved from the North Caucasus to Tiflis.
In the 1970s and 1980s the Russian Federation connected with the South Caucasian Republics through the four main transport corridors: in Abkhazia through the vehicle and railway bridges crossing the Psou River; in the Tskhinvali region- through the Roki vehicle tunnel; from Larsi through the Georgian Military Highway and in Azerbaijan through the vehicle and railway bridges passing along the Caspian Sea.
In the 1990s as a result of the two wars the vehicle roads through the Psou and Roki were partially blocked and the main emphasis was made on the Georgian Military Highway. At that time, in 1996 a Dagestan businessman Magomet Kebedov used his own money, to lay the 55-kilometer-long Avar-Kakheti earth-road out of which 36 kilometers on the Georgian territory were for the cross-country vehicles. This road was used for fuel smuggling. In 1997 the road was blocked by the border guard.
Before the second Chechen war, in autumn of 1999, active military operations were carried out in the Botlikhi region of Dagestan, adjacent to Avar-Kakheti road. At that time then-Prime Minister and later-President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, wanted not to restore this road but have it securely blocked in order not to let militants from Georgia and Azerbaijan join the armed units of Basaev and Khattab. But at the beginning of 2008 when with the help of Ramzan Kadirov, Putin actually managed to crush the patriotic movement of Chechnya for independence. The situation changed radically and he had time to focus on Georgia.
On February 4th, 2008, the Russian President unexpectedly visited Dagestan and inspected the 33rd mountain subdivision. There, in front of the TV cameras Vladimir Putin said a historic phrase that is relevant even today: “We need one more road to Georgia; repair it immediately.”
Then, in 2008 as the confrontation between Moscow and Tbilisi was becoming tenser by the day, these words of world’s most notorious warmonger were considered a forewarning of real threat coming from Kremlin. Unfortunately we couldn’t manage to avoid the war with Russia but at that time the Avar-Kakheti road was left functionless.
Today due to the Dagestan functionaries this issue was raised again. They held a round table in Makhachkala where it was declared that laying of an 83-kilometer-long Avar-Kakheti road would cost 28-32 million Russian Rubles and it’d connect Makhachkala with Tbilisi and its length would be only 470 kilometers. On the 83-kilometer-long section of the road it will be necessary to build five tunnels, 25 bridges and seven galleys as protection from avalanches.
What will the opening of Avar-Kakheti road mean for Georgia? On the one hand there is nothing better than laying a road to one’s neighbor because srelations will improve. What’s more, due to frequent landslides on the Georgian Military Highway, the Larsi section is not very secure. The transit turnover of goods will increase and it will be easier for Georgian peasants to take their harvest to the North Caucasus.
But this idea is sound if you have friendly and partner-like relations with that neighbor. But it’s of course impossible to say this about Russia, which has occupied two Georgian regions, declared their independence and is presumably planning to absorb the Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions.
The desire expressed by Putin six years ago is relevant even today because restoration of the Avar-Kakheti road will enable the Kremlin to realize the almost two-century-old dream of Tsarist Russia to promptly deploy its military units, including heavy combat armament, to Eastern Georgia.
Someone may ask – why does Putin want to take tanks from Dagestan to Kakheti when he can attack Tbilisi from the occupied Akhalgori region?
The occupied Tskhinvali and Akhalgori do pose threat to Tbilisi but the appearance of Russian combat tactical groups in Eastern Georgia will pose a difficult situation not only for Tbilisi but also for the whole of Eastern Georgia.
Let’s not forget that since 1998 (when Shevardnadze dislocated the landing-combat troops to Poti) there is not a single combat division, to say anything about a unit (it’s likely not even worth to speak about the combat potential of the Telavi reservist cadre battalion). The main priority of the 4th mechanized and the 1st artillery brigades stationed in Vaziani is to defend the capital, not to build protective fortifications at Kvareli or Gurjaani.
There is one more important argument against the opening of Avar-Kakheti road. The recent information about the participation of Pankisi dwellers in the ranks of the Islamic Caliphate increases the threat of Kremlin using this as an excuse to carry out an anti-terrorist operation in the Pankisi Gorge, a threat that we evaded with difficulty in 2001-2002 because we managed to timely rout Chechen commander Gilaev’s group from the Pankisi Gorge. It is true that the Avar-Kakheti road goes from the Bezhti region of Dagestan to Kvareli, not to the Pankisi Gorge but there exists an asphalt road there from Kvareli to Akhmeta.
Also the Dagestanis and Ramzan Kadirov, the President of Chechnya, also support building a vehicle road from the North Caucasus to Georgia. He declares that in the 1990s from the Itum-Kala region of Chechnya, an earth road was laid to Akhmeta but it was stopped by the Georgian side in 1998. On February 15th, 2014, during a TV interview Ramzan Kadyrov declared that after resignation of President Saakashvili nothing can interfere with the laying of asphalt on the Itum-Kala road that will enable Chechens to have a passageway to Georgia and the Black Sea.

Print
Other Stories
Swiss State Secretary: “Georgia is safe, we do not grant asylum”
2500 Georgians have sought asylum in Switzerland since 2016. Not one request has been granted. Now Switzerland wants Georgia to tackle irregular migration.
"Georgia has a long way to go in Tourism"
Because of the booming tourism industries, the Georgian government starts to implement regulations. “But this happens not fast enough, not efficient enough and not rigorous enough”, says Stefan Meister from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
Former US diplomat Matthew Bryza discusses Georgia, NATO membership and Trump’s presidency with GJ
How can we explain the statement made by the former Secretary-General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rassmussen about the possibility for Georgia to join NATO?
NATO Parliamentary Assembly President Madeleine Moon visits Khurvaleti village
President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Madeleine Moon has arrived in the village of Didi Khurvaleti, in the Gori municipality, located near the Administrative Boundary Line.
“Georgia could soon be ready for regulations”
“With big money you can either build or destroy something”, says Vano Vashakmadze. The consultant for development in tourism helped to work out the new zone planning implemented by the government.
Mamuka Khazaradze establishes Lelo movement
The public movement of TBC Bank's founder Mamuka Khazaradze will be called Lelo.
TBC Bank founder Mamuka Khazaradze to establish social movement in Anaklia
The presentation of the social movement of the founder of TBC Bank Mamuka Khazaradze will be held tomorrow, September 12, in Anaklia. The event begins at 12:00.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen offers Georgia a way to join NATO
Georgia should start an internal discussion of whether it would be acceptable to join NATO without Abkhazia and South Ossetia, - Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secreatry General of North-Atlantic Teaty Organisation, said.
“These protests are different”
«In Georgia protesting is almost a tradition», says the historian Simon Janashia who works at the American School in Tbilisi. But the current demonstrations are profoundly different.
Kelly Degnan nominated as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia
President Donald Trump has submitted the nomination of Kelly Degnan to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Georgia.
Development of the Anaklia deep sea port should be in the interest of every Georgian, says Kurt Volker
Importance of the Anaklia deep sea port is huge for Georgia and the Georgians have heard about it from many politicians inside or outside of the country.
Clashes and whistling in the Georgian Parliament after nomination of new PM
Clashes took place at the entrances to the Parliament building today, as protesters held the "Shame on You" event.
“Georgian Dream” Party introduced Georgy Gakharia as Prime Minister
“Georgian Dream” party has introduced Interior Minister Georgy Gakharia to the post of Prime Minister.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has resigned. Bakhtadze released the relevant statement on the social network.
There will be no war with Georgia, says De-facto official
Georgia's provocative actions at the "borders of South Ossetia" are just an attempt by the Georgian authorities to divert their population's attention from acute domestic problems
After the summer Tbilisi is expecting another hot season
Every evening in June and July hundreds of protesters came to the parliament to demonstrate.
Why so called South Ossetian delegation gave ultimatum to the Georgian side?
Representatives of de-facto regime of the Tskhinvali region gave ultimatum to the Georgian side to abolish the Georgian police block post near Tsnelisi until 6:00am, August 30th.
Former Russian Duma member sees theoretical chance of solution the Abkhazia problem
Former member of the Russian Duma, Ilya Ponomarev, believes that there is a theoretical chance of resolving the problem of occupied Abkhazia
Georgian president calls Brexit new opportunity (Watch video)
Georgians feel that they are Europeans. It is not something they are striving for. They are European, President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili said in her interview with Euronews.
So called elections in Abkhazia go into second round
The “Presidential elections” in Abkhazia do not bring a clear leader. Nor are they recognized by a variety of states, among them the US, the UK, Ukraine and Latvia.
Representatives of diplomatic corps arrive in Gugutiantkari
Representatives of the diplomatic corps and the Government of Georgia are in the outskirts of the Gugutiantkari village of Gori municipality,
US State Department condemns Russian occupation of Georgia’s territories
The US state department has issued a statement condemning Russian occupation of Georgian territories – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.
What went wrong in the 2008 August War? – Mikheil Saakashvili recalls
Today Georgia marks 11 years since the 2008 August War. After 11 years, there still are many unanswered questions.
After 11 years, Georgia commemorates the August War
It has been 11 years since the 2008 August War in Georgia. Officials and different politicians once again commemorated the date and made statements about the ongoing occupation of Georgia’s territories by Russia.
International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center publishes fresh survey
A new nationwide public opinion survey of Georgian citizens by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
20.09.2019
21.09.2019
USD
1
USD
2.9738
2.9738
EUR
1
EUR
3.2902
3.2902
GBP
1
GBP
3.7027
3.7027
RUB
100
RUB
4.6406
4.6406
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.9738
EUR
1
EUR
3.2902
GBP
1
GBP
3.7027
RUB
100
RUB
4.6406
September 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30