PHOTO FOCUS STORY PROMISES VS. RESULTS AT A GLANCE RELATED STORIES
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The Javakheti Armenians fear that a withdrawal from Russia’s military base in Akhalkalaki will end what has been an economic life support system for their community since 1991. How will Saakashvili address the situation? Check out four promises and their results.

PROMISE / RESULT   1 of 4

PROMISE: 2005 - “We have had Russian troops in Georgia for 200 years. There is no point in this for Russia, and for Georgia it is a risk…. We are prepared to talk about two years or even three years [for the Russian base withdrawal], but I intend to resolve this issue during my term of office as stipulated by the constitution and I'm not going to make any concessions in this regard.”

- President Mikheil Saakashvili
May 3, 2005

RESULT: 2005 - On May 23, Tbilisi and Moscow announced an agreement for the withdrawal of Russia's bases from Akhalkalaki and Batumi by 2008. Under the plan, troops and hardware will be redeployed to a Russian base in Armenia. On June 3, in a move to show Georgia's willingness for "good neighbor relations" with Russia, President Saakashvili invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Tbilisi.

PROMISE / RESULT   2 of 4

PROMISE: 2004 - “ I'm going to ensure that during the term of my presidency the road from Tbilisi to Akhalkalaki and the [Georgian-Turkish] border is built. It will become a very important transport link. We will be able to reach Turkey much faster, which is important for our trade. What is more important, people in these districts populated by [ethnic] minorities will have a feeling that they are a part of the Georgian state.”

- President Mikheil Saakashvili
November 23, 2004

RESULT: 2005 - The U.S.-backed Millennium Challenge Account reportedly will launch the multi-million-dollar roads project in September 2005 with construction beginning simultaneously from Tbilisi and the Turkish border. As of May, a feasibility study for the project was reportedly underway.

PROMISE / RESULT   3 of 4

PROMISE: 2005 - “We are not planning to open a new military unit there, but we are offering them [people employed at the 62nd Russian military base] places in nearby units… so that they serve in the Georgian armed forces. For those who do not want to do that, we will have a separate program of social rehabilitation . . . such as business and other programs, so they do not feel they are losing out.”

- President Mikheil Saakashvili
April 28, 2005 meeting with Armenian Parliamentary Speaker Artur Bagdasaryan

RESULT: 2005 - On May 30, Tbilisi and Moscow announced that Russia’s bases would be withdrawn from Georgia by the end of 2008. Local Armenians, however, maintain a wait-and-see perspective. The base’s withdrawal could not only shift the region’s demographic composition more heavily in favor of Georgians, but undermine the local economy.

PROMISE / RESULT   4 of 4

PROMISE: 2005 - “We are willing to adopt internationally accepted standards on the language issue. “

- President Mikheil Saakashvili
April 18, 2005 interview with EurasiaNet

RESULT: 2005 - Ethnic Armenians declare that they do not know Georgian because of the population’s isolation and subsequent lack of Georgian language teachers. Meanwhile, the Georgian government has pledged to meet a September 2005 deadline to ratify a Council of Europe convention that stipulates that ethnic minorities be given “adequate opportunities” for instruction in their own language.

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