Diplomat Who Dotes on Georgian Wine and Architecture
27 March, 2014
Diplomat Who Dotes on Georgian Wine and Architecture
Interview with the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Georgia

Georgian Journal continues its meetings with ambassadors accredited to Georgia. We take pride in our excellent relations with diplomatic corps and are thankful to them for their cordial acceptance and positive disposition towards our newspaper. This time, we are happy to introduce to our reader H.E. Mr. Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Georgia. We hope that our bilateral ties will be strengthened.
How do you like living in Georgia?
E.E: It is simply wonderful! As the saying goes, it could not be better.
G.J: Do you find it interesting to live and work in Georgia?
E.E: Yes indeed! For quite a while, I was working in the sphere of internal politics of Kazakhstan and this is my first diplomatic mission. Frankly speaking, I find working in Georgia extremely interesting and meaningful. Our President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, assigns great importance to bilateral relations with Georgia and I am proud that it is me, and nobody else, who is in charge of intensifying this significant direction of our foreign politics. As for living here, I will put it like this: Georgia is the ideal country to live in or to stay in, for tourism and resting.
G.J: Have you made friends in Georgia and what have you learnt from them?
E.E: After being here for one year, I formed a big circle of acquaintances and friends around me. As for my close friends, they all live in Kazakhstan. As you know, we mostly meet them either in our childhood or in our adolescence. After 50 years, it becomes quite tough to get new friends. But, I will once again repeat myself that in Georgia I am obliged to communicate with a great number of people and they are not only representatives of the diplomatic corps or governmental bodies of Georgia. I do not know whether one learns something from friends, but I simply find it pleasant to have these contacts. Communicating with people is the biggest richness.
G.J: What do you and don’t you quite like in Georgia?
E.E: Most of all, I like Georgian climate and amazing Georgian nature. For example, I simply fell in love with Georgian winter. I am keen on walking for several kilometers and I feel equally enthusiastic about skiing in Gudauri and Bakuriani. I cannot stop enjoying mere breathing of your nice air. I like a lot of things in Georgia, which is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world. It is proved by millions of tourists who arrive here every year. I will rather refrain from naming the things I do not like. You know your drawbacks yourself, and it would be unpleasant to hear them from a foreigner.
G.J: How well are you acquainted with Georgian cuisine, and which is your favorite dish?
E.E: I am more than just acquainted with it. I have eaten nothing but Georgian food within for the last year. I simply love it. Of course, I am prone to Kazakh cuisine which totally differs from the Georgian one. I will be frank and say that I think Georgian wines are the best in the world. But I cannot say that it is better than the last one. Our food is very high in cholesterol. Here in Georgia, the level of my cholesterol has decreased three times. It should probably be attributed to the Georgian mineral waters, fruit, vegetables and famous Georgian wine.
G.J: What sphere of the Georgian culture attracts you the most?
E.E: Georgia is one of the most ancient civilizations in the history of mankind. Georgian culture, too, has very deep historic roots. It is unbelievably diverse, interesting, meaningful and imposing. I am really impressed by old Georgian architecture. I am keen on looking at the sight of ancient churches and monasteries. I like contemporary Georgian paintings. My spouse and I intend to take a collection of pictures from here. To be more exact, we have already started purchasing some paintings. But I simply adore Georgian polyphonic singing. I can understand when people sing in three or four voices, but seven and eight voices is something that is beyond any human wits. I only heard such a phenomenon in Georgia.
G.J: In your opinion, what is a quality which Georgians lack to become good businessmen?
E.E: Mobility, motivation, firmness, determination and stubbornness; a strong wish to change their own and their families’ lives for the better. I cannot see the sharp demand among you to drastically change your surrounding atmosphere. Last year, in May, a Georgian employer came to me. He needed to purchase oil products, I immediately called a friend of mine in Kazakhstan who is involved in this particular sphere. One year has passed since then, and this Georgian man has not gone to Kazakhstan as yet. He is either busy or has other reasons. But when a Kazakh businessman sees a good profit, he immediately gets into motion and is ready to go to the very edge of the world for the sake of work.
G.J: As you know, Georgia is not particularly rich in natural resources. What could be spheres that our country should count on for successful economic development?
E.E: This thing would be your geographic factor. This is the way of Great Britain, Japan, Singapore, Hong-Kong and other countries with poor natural resources. I mean, to use Georgia as a transit country as well as take advantage of tourism and the newest technologies. Georgia is situated between the European Union and the Customs Union. There is the Arabian, Turkish and Persian world in the neighborhood (sanctions against Iran will be erased)and you have an exit to the sea. Therefore, a lot of great possibilities are in store for you.
G.J: What is your prognosis about external politics of Georgia?
E.E: I do believe that you will enter the European Union much earlier due to the latest events in Ukraine. I find it difficult to judge how it will be reflected in the Georgian economy but this is your choice and we respect it. This geopolitical choice does not at all mean that Georgia should not develop bilateral ties with Central Asia. I am sure that, besides the European Union, Georgia will continue to uphold its intensive relations with its neighbors (Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia). These links will also be strengthened with the Central Asian region, and in particular with Kazakhstan. I hope so very much, and I am obliged to do so, to intensify my job in this direction. As for Russia, first and foremost, bilateral diplomatic ties should be restored. But it is impossible as far as the issues with Abkhazia and South Ossetia remain unsolved.
G.J: What is the most precious thing from Georgia that you will take with you upon finishing your mission?
E.E: The most precious thing? I think that this is my spouse Ludmila. She is Ukrainian and we have been together for the last 30 years. She is in love with Georgia, and follows an intensive Georgian language. She can already read and write in Georgian. Sometimes I am scared that she will stay here. Therefore, I will answer you this way: I will take my spouse with me when my mission is over (Note: this must be a Kazakh sense of humor). In the aftermath, I will become the ambassador in Armenia or Azerbaijan to remain close to you (he laughs).
P.S: We asked the Ambassador to give any comment regarding the events and referendum in Crimea, but he chose to keep silent as he is the new ambassador and the first ever plenipotentiary diplomat of Kazakhstan even though the embassy in Tbilisi was established in 1999. Note: Kazakhstan is the only country that has an embassy so far outside as the Central Asian Republic.

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