(WASHINGTON, DC - April 14, 2008)
Amid rising tensions and demonstrations in Armenia and Georgia after recent elections, two experts on the South Caucasus gave a briefing today at the RFE/RL Washington, DC office.
"The region is facing a crisis of confidence," said Richard Giragosian, Contributing Analyst for Jane's Information Group. "Following elections in both countries, the course of political change is under threat by a wave of demonstrations and the subsequent emergency measures imposed by the authorities. The post-election period we're in now is a crossroads - either the governments of Georgia and Armenia will accommodate calls for change or retreat towards becoming more closed societies."
Joining Giragosian was Cory Welt, Georgetown University's Associate Director for the Eurasian Strategy Project. Both speakers tackled such issues as the "frozen" territorial conflicts in Eastern Europe, energy security, and geopolitical competition between the U.S., Russia, and Iran.
Participating via a live video feed from RFE/RL headquarters in Prague, RFE/RL's Georgia and Armenia broadcast directors, David Kakabadze and Hrair Tamrazian, respectively, began the briefing with updates on the latest news from the South Caucasus. RFE/RL's Armenian Service broadcasts more than three and a half hours of programming a day to Armenia, produced in Prague and the Yerevan Bureau and transmitted to listeners via satellite and FM, AM, Cable Radio, UKV and long wave signals provided by local affiliate stations. Armenian Service programming is available online at www.azatutyun.am
RFE/RL's Georgian Service broadcasts three hours of programming a day to the Republic of Georgia, produced in Prague and the Tbilisi Bureau and transmitted to listeners via shortwave and AM and FM signals provided by local affiliate stations. Georgian Service programming is available online at www.tavisupleba.org