GFSIS Georgian Foundation For Strategic and International Studies - events. Seminar - The German Elections 2017 and their Impact on Georgia The Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies invites you to the seminar - The German Elections 2017 and their Impact on Georgia. The seminar will be delivered by Toni Michel, M.A. Program "Politics and Economics in Eurasia" at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Moscow. The event will take place on February 21, 2017 at 19:00. Address: Shio Chitadze street 3a. Tue, 21 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT Seminar - The German Elections 2017 and their Impact on Georgia Mon, 20 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT The Benefits of the EU-Georgia Visa Liberalization In the video Mr. Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, the Deputy Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Mr. Kakha Gogolasvhili, the Director of the EU Study Center discuss the EU-Georgia visa liberalization related issues as well as the advantages of visa-free travel to Europe for the citizens of Georgia. The views expressed in the publications and videomaterials prepared by the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation. The Foundation expresses its appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia for the provided support. The video is made possible with the assistance of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency under the framework of the media component of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Leadership Program. Mon, 20 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT The Second Meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform On February 17, 2017 the second meeting of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform was held at the European Economic and Social Committee in Belgium, Brussels. The CSP complemented the political bodies existing within the framework of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, and it allowed civil society organizations from both sides to monitor the implementation process and prepare recommendations to the relevant authorities both in Georgia as well as in the European Union. The CSP is made up of nine members from both Parties, representing the EESC and large European civil society networks, on the one side, and civil society organizations from Georgia, on the other side. The opening remarks were made by Mr. Kakha Gogolashvili, the Director of the EU Studies Center at the Rondeli Foundation, Co-Chairmen of the Platform and Mr. Andrzej Adamczyk, Member of the European Social and Economic Committee as well as Co-Chairman of the Platform. The assessment of the state of play in the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement was made by Mr. Archil Karaulashvili, First Deputy State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia. The meeting participants also discussed the equality of opportunity and treatment of men and women in the labour market, the freedom of media / audiovisual media development etc. At the end of the meeting, the parties planned the future work of the platform and adopted the joint declaration. For more information follow the link Fri, 17 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT New Russian Weaponry in the Caucasus and Its Impact on Georgia‚Äôs NATO Aspiration By Shota Utiashvili, Senior-Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation On October 12, 2016, the Parliament of Armenia ratified the Armenian-Russian agreement on establishing a common air defense space in the Caucasus. President Putin asked the Russian Parliament to follow suit. The Agreement establishes a unified system, allowing the sides to exchange information in real time and use each-others capabilities when necessary. "Armenia will be able to use Russian radars, S300 air defense systems, three squadrons of MIG29 fighters deployed in Armenia, etc.," said the Minister of Defense of Armenia. The Agreement does not cover the airspace of Nagorno-Karabakh, and it remains Armenia’s responsibility to defend that area. Russia has already established similar joint systems with Belarus and some Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kirgizstan). These agreements allow Russia to expand its air defense perimeter further from its national borders. Unlike Kazakhstan or Belarus, Russia has no common border with Armenia: Georgia is between the two. Most of western Georgia’s airspace is controlled by an S300 system deployed by Russia in Abkhazia in 2010. The Giumri Military Base, which hosts another S300 system, deployed in Armenia, is only 40 km away from the Georgian border. The two will allow Russia to control most of Georgia’s airspace. On November 30, 2016, Russia and Armenia signed another military agreement, this time on creating a joint Russian-Armenian task force. The joint task force (JTF) is set up to repel aggression on any state party as well as to facilitate the defense of the land borders of Armenia. In peacetime, the JTF is led by an officer from the Armenian General Staff. During war, however, command may be transferred to Russia’s southern military command located in Rostov-on-Don. The text of the agreement has never been made public, but both Russian and Armenian commentators stress that, if attacked, Armenia will be defended by the full force of the Southern Military District, including Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Caspian Flotilla, Land and Air forces. The duration of the Agreement is five years. Russia has a similar agreement with Belarus. As for Nagorno-Karabakh, again, its defense is solely Armenia’s responsibility. Russia is also obliged to provide Armenia with military supplies at domestic prices. There are about 250 Armenian future officers studying in the Russian military school, the same number as in both Armenian military academies. The JTF was first set up in 2000 and comprised servicemen of the Russian 102nd (Giumri) Military Base, and Armenia’s 5th Corps. The 102nd Military Base is armed with 100 T72 tanks, 150 BMP2/BTR70/80 armored vehicles, BM21 GRAD and BM30 SMERCH multiple rocket launchers, MI24 attack helicopters, and more. In September 2016, during a military parade in honor of the 25th anniversary of its independence, Armenia demonstrated elements of the Iskander missile system. After years of speculation, it was proof that Yerevan now has Russia’s most advanced short-range ballistic missile (the INF treaty prohibits US and Russia possessing missiles of a 500-5500 kilometer range). It is also believed that the Russian military base in Giumri also possesses these missiles. Interestingly, after the end of the Cold War, it was in Kaliningrad that this combination of advanced air defense system and Iskander missiles was first deployed, and it immediately triggered deep concern in NATO. NATO analysts concluded that Russia was employing the Anti-Access Area Denial (A2AD) tactic. Air defense and anti-ship missiles, in addition to the ballistic missiles deployed in Kaliningrad, were meant to prevent or at least limit NATO’s ability to send additional forces for the defense of the Baltic countries if they were attacked or threatened by Russia. S300, and its modernized version S400, can detect and destroy enemy airplanes within up to a 400km radius. RAND Corporation analysts concluded that, if unaided, Lithuania or Estonia could resist full scale Russian aggression only for 36 to 60 hours. Russia employed the A2AD tactic effectively in Syria. Although no Western planes were targeted, Turkey had to stop using its Air Force in Syria after its relations with Russia deteriorated seriously following the shooting down of a Russian military jet. The next location where Russia is considering deploying Iskander missiles, together with an advanced air defense system, is Crimea. In general, if you look at the places where Russia is deploying S300/400 in combination with an Iskander missile system, one can see that Moscow is doing so in the areas where the chances of an escalation of confrontation with NATO is the highest. Its logic is clear: these weapons would make it much harder for NATO to deploy its air and sea power. Obviously, air and sea power are the backbone of NATO’s military prowess. As for the South Caucasus, Russian strategists should remember the impact the US military transport planes had when they landed in Tbilisi airport during the August War of 2008. The Kremlin’s goal is apparently to address this "shortcoming" and prevent NATO ships or planes from reaching Georgia in case of war. Theoritically, there are countermeasures NATO can employ against the Russian A2AD tactic. It can build land-based military bases in the areas which Russia is trying to seal off, or it can develop more advanced missiles that can penetrate Russian air and missile defenses. However, using such tactics would mean a significant raising of the stakes by NATO allies. It seems that deploying Iskander missiles and an advanced air defense system is aimed at preventing access for NATO in and around Georgia, rather than at putting pressure on Turkey or Azerbaijan. Russia knows only too well that there is no consensus in the Alliance about Georgia’s membership. The extreme difficulty of defending Georgia militarily is the key argument of the sceptics. By creating a restricted access zone in Georgia for NATO’s ships and planes, Russia strenghtens sceptics’ arguments and aims to delay Georgia’s progress towards NATO even further. Mon, 13 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT Panel Discussion in Akhalkalaki on the Role of the State and the Citizen On February 13, 2017 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) organized a panel discussion - "The State and the Citizen" for the representatives of ethnic Armenian community at its regional office in Akhalkalaki, Samtskhe-Javakheti. The discussion was conducted by Tina Khidasheli, the former Minister of Defense of Georgia and one of the former leaders of the Republican Party. The speaker and the audience actively discussed the meaning, essence and functions of the state, the importance of engagement of citizens in developing the state institutions, human rights and freedoms. The discussion also focused on the dual citizenship, challenges of frequent changes in the Georgian Tax Code and some other ardent topics related to the problems of ethnic minorities in the respective region. The discussion was held under the series of lectures on issues of nationwide importance. The aim of the series of presentations is to increase the capacity-building of ethnic minority community of Javakheti and to forge a common understanding and vision of the Georgian state among the citizens of Georgia despite their ethnic origin and promote a national integration process in line with the principles of modern, democratic state. As a result the minority community representatives are better equipped and empowered to become agents of change. Mon, 13 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT The Visit of the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran On February 4, 2017 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies hosted the visit of the delegation representing the academic circles of the Islamic Republic of Iran, represented by the professors and heads Departments of the University of Tehran, Payam Noor University, Regional Studies Research Institute at the Shahid Beheshti University and the Caucasus Studies Institute. Mr. Kakha Gogolashvili, the Senior Fellow and the Director of the EU Studies Center met with the members of the delegation on behalf of the Foundation. The parties assessed the current bilateral relationship between Georgia and Iran, discussed the prospects of development of the cooperation in the international and regional context as well as the challenges and opportunities of the EU-Georgia and Georgia-Russia relations and the economic and security situation of Georgia. Sat, 4 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT Meeting with the President of the National Bank of Georgia On February 1, 2017 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) organized a meeting between Mr. Koba Gvenetadze, the President of the National Bank of Georgia and the representatives of academic community. The meeting was attended by Archil Mestvirishvili, the Vice-President of the National Bank of Georgia. The aim of the meeting was to establish the direct communication in "Chatham House" format between the politically independent analysts and the representatives of the relevant governmental institutions. The event was moderated by Eka Metreveli, the President of the Foundation and Prof. Merab Kakulia, Director of the Center for Financial Stability and Competitiveness at the Foundation. Mr. Koba Gvenetadze gave a presentation on "The formation of the monetary policy in Georgia" and thoroughly discussed the objective of the monetary policy, the regime of inflation targeting and the instruments of the monetary policy. The speaker highlighted the refinancing loans dynamic and liquidity forecast and management of the banking sector. The presentation was followed by Q/A mode; the NBG President answered the questions from the audience on the effectiveness of the monetary policy, the stability of the financial sector, the regulation of non-profile assets of the banks and the dedolarization of the economy. Wed, 1 Feb 2017 0:00:00 GMT John Smith Fellowship Programme Announced The John Smith Trust runs the Fellowship Programmes for exceptional candidates from Wider Europe (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine) For the detailed infotmation please follow the link: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 0:00:00 GMT The 75th birthday anniversary of Alexander Rondeli at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University On January 28, 2017 the event dedicated to 25th anniversary of the Department of International Relations of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University as well as the 75th birthday anniversary of Dr. Alexander Rondleli, the first Head of the Department was held. The representatives of academic community of Georgia, universities, executive and legislative branches, various agencies, non-governmental organizations as well as students and the faculty alumni attended the event. The event was chaired by Prof. Zurab Davitashvili, the Head of International Relations at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. The opening remarks were made by Giorgi Sharvashidze, the Rector of TSU, Mikheil Janelidze, the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, the State Minister for the Reconciliation and the Civic Equality of Georgia, both the alumni of the faculty of International Relations. Prof. Vladimer Papava addressed the audience on behalf of the Rondeli Foundation. All the speakers cordially recalled Prof. Alexnader Rondeli by emphasizing his dedication to the University and the State. He was the founder of the Department of International Relations and International Law established back in 1991. At that period, the International Relations as a science and as a university faculty was a completely new field. Prof. Alexander Rondeli, as the first elected Head of the Department, made a significant contribution to the formation of International Relations as a science. Sat, 28 Jan 2017 0:00:00 GMT