Everything that happens in Armenia directly influences the life of Georgian Armenians, Johnny Melikyan, an expert on Georgian affairs, said speaking about the conservation of Armenian cultural legacy in Georgia.
“The ministries of culture of the two countries are taking joint efforts in this direction, but there is an important thing to remember – unlike Armenia, the church is very strong in Georgia, with Patriarch Ilia II enjoying the sympathy of the 98 percent of the population. He is the leader of all Georgians. In the country where the Patriarch is such an influential figure, the state will not intervene in the matters of the Church,” he said adding that certain spiritual leaders in Georgia are ill-disposed towards Armenians.
With regard to the operation of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Johnny Melikyan said Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is also concerned that it can become a serious alternative to the Georgian railway, therby hindering its work.
The expert says the Georgian government gets money from Azerbaijan to construct the railway. In the last two years, Georgia received $200 mln from Azerbaijan at an annual rate of 1-2 percent.
“We should struggle against this,” he concluded.