General Ben HODGES: "No way the US will pull out of NATO"

02.11.2020 (Caucasian Journal On the eve of U.S. presidential election, Caucasian Journal discusses the risk of America's withdrawing from NATO, verbalized recently by President Trump's former national security adviser. Though in Georgia it is also the election time, the NATO aspiration is not questioned by any party. But is NATO ready to accept new member?  
Our guest today is Lieutenant General (Retired) Ben HODGES, Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies at the Center for European Policy Analysis, Commander of United States Army Europe from 2014 to 2017.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Dear Ben, welcome to Caucasian Journal, many thanks for attention to our international readership. Obviously, one of our central discussion themes will be NATO-Georgia relationship. But let me start with something else, and even more fundamental: The NATO-USA relationship. President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton has more than once expressed his concern over a “very real risk” of the U.S. withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, if Donald Trump wins a second term. Can you comment on what seemed unthinkable? After all, 2020 had proved already that unthinkable things happen.

Lt. Gen. Ben HODGES:
No way the US will pull out of NATO, even if President Trump is re-elected. The Congress will oppose it, and I think that even the President realizes that the US needs allies, even if he doesn’t always say it or act like it. American prosperity as well as American security depends on a strong, stable, and prosperous Europe... That’s why we’ll remain committed to NATO, even if the President often says things about NATO that are unproductive. Of course it would also be helpful if other allies, particularly in Western Europe, would also demonstrate as much commitment to NATO as even the Trump administration has demonstrated. Despite the tweets, American boots on the ground in Europe have actually increased during this administration. I’d say that US commitment is far more tangible than some European allies. 
 

Yiftah CURIEL: "Potential of digital diplomacy is immense"; Ran GIDOR: "Women belong in all places where decisions are made"


global focus
voices of Israeli Foreign Ministry
27.10.2020.
Caucasian Journal from time to time presents to our readers articles which focus on issues of a wider international importance. Today under our "GLOBAL FOCUS" Caucasian Journal gives floor to the Israeli diplomats.
 
The subjects they cover reflect important aspects of Israeli foreign policy: Use of latest "cutting edge" technologies, and adherence to decades-proven "classic" achievements accumulated by humanity. While Yiftah CURIEL of Israeli Foreign Ministry talks about digital diplomacy in the COVID era, Ran GIDOR – Israeli Ambassador to Georgia – remembers the anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution urging to increase women's decision-making in the sphere of peace and security.
  
Yiftah CURIEL: "The potential of digital diplomacy is immense"

Mr. Yiftah CURIEL is Director of Department for Digital Diplomacy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Dear Yiftah, welcome to Caucasian Journal! As you are the head of Israel’s digital diplomacy, do you agree that wider digitalization is one of main ways to survive, especially in the era of COVID?

Yiftah CURIEL: Hello, and thank you for this interview, providing this opportunity to speak with your audience. Absolutely, I think that although digitalization, and specifically digital diplomacy, has been rapidly expanding over the last few years, COVID and the need to connect from afar, has accelerated this process. We have seen on our digital platforms a significant rise in the number of followers, people that want to connect with Israel, from tourists to businesspeople to religious pilgrims, and we've tried to accommodate them by providing content, a way to interact with us that would alleviate some of the difficulties of not being able to connect face to face. 
 

Opportunity for Georgians to study in Norway: Attend a Zoom meeting to learn more

Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), through the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, offers scholarships to Georgians who want to study hydropower development at the master’s level at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim/Norway.

Scholarships are tenable for two-year master programmes starting in 2021 and 2022.

All interested are welcome to attend online information meeting about scholarships for master programme in hydropower development on Wednesday 21 October 19:00 (Tbilisi time). The meeting will be conducted in English.  Click link to join the meeting: https://zoom.us/j/93493314861 

Georgia and Norway – two hydropower countries

About 80 percent of Georgia’s electricity demand is covered by local hydropower plants. The construction of hydro power plants in Georgia has a long tradition, which has been reactivated in recent years. Both large power plants with reservoirs and small hydropower plants are under construction or being planned. Read more: Bjorn BRANDTZAEG: "As Georgia develops, it needs more domestically generated electricity".

Professor Hüseyin BAĞCI: Turkey considers Azerbaijan as "one nation, two states"

14.10.2020 (Caucasian Journal) How is the political situation in South Caucasus - in particular, the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict - seen from Turkey's perspective? What are current political priorities of the powerful neigbour? 
Caucasian Journal’s guest today is Professor Dr. Hüseyin BAĞCI - President of Turkey’s Foreign Policy Institute and professor at Middle East Technical University in Ankara. Professor Bağci is also Caucasian Journal's Board member.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Dear Professor Bağci, thank you for this opportunity to talk about foreign policies in our region, and the position of Turkey, which is of great importance to our countries. First of all, my sincere congratulations you with recent appointment as the head of Foreign Policy Institute (FPI) – Turkey’s oldest and most prestigious think tanks! It a great honour for us to have you in Caucasian Journal’s Board. So, how does it feel to become a leader of this think tank, after many years of university teaching?

Hüseyin BAĞCI: Thank you very much. Indeed, it is a very good feeling, but also an intellectual responsibility to lead such an institute. I have been involved in the activities of FPI since late 1980’s and was deputy director. But now, of course, it is a new field of responsibility. We contribute to main stream debates on Turkish foreign and security nationally and internationally.
 

Sascha TERNES (video): "This moment gives a lot of opportunity for import substitution"

25.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal) How is the investment situation in Georgia assessed from a German business perspective? What types of investment projects seem most promising? What is German Business Association in Georgia, and how can it help?

Today our video discussion is with Mr. Sascha TERNES, Chairman of the German Business Association in Georgia (DWV), who agreed to answer Caucasian Journal's questions. 
 
This video interview was done in the framework of  our new EURICA project.

Watch video interview with Sasha TERNES below.

To be first to view all our exclusive video interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.



Nordic Ministers: Human rights and democracy key to leaving no one behind in global fight against COVID-19


17.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal In the framework of our journal's  "BEST NORDIC AND BALTIC PRACTICE" Program we are glad to publish the following statement of the ministers of the Nordic countries:

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to accelerate the global trends of democratic backsliding and weakening respect for human rights. It is intensifying existing inequalities, hitting those who are already marginalised, subjected to discrimination and living in poverty the hardest.

ICC and Caucasian Journal inaugurate EURICA video channel at Board Meeting attended by ICC Secretary General

11.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal)  Today is a big  day for us, since Caucasian Journal is officially launching our EURICA video channel - with our three first videos. 
Since EURICA  (Eurasia Investment Channel and Analytics) is a joint project with ICC Georgia, our inauguration coincided with the visit of John W.H. DENTON, Secretary General of International Chamber of Commerce. 

Today in Tbilisi the Secretary General of ICC attended the ICC Georgia's Consultative Board Meeting and met with the leaders of the major business organizations in the country. 

Fady ASLY, Chairman of ICC Georgia, presented EURICA with a special address:



To be the first to view all EURICA's exclusive videos, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.

At today's ICC event in Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi, EURICA also has demonstrated a video with series of exclusive interviews titled "Why Georgia?" In this video, the leading business representatives as well as heads of World Bank, EBRD, AmCham and other chambers of commerce answer why Georgia is attractive to investors:



The last EURICA's premiere today was a trailer of our new Series called "Movers and Shakers". EURICA’s “Movers and Shakers” Series cover people and companies who make a difference in Georgia and move things forward. In the focus of our first video is the Zedazeni Group, one of Georgia's leading diversified industrial groups:




In case you missed it: Interview with Gunda TIRE on school reform and PISA ratings of school children

01.09.2020 (Caucasian Journal).  As September 1st is first day of school in many countries, Caucasian Journal decided to re-post our article on education, which we consider quite important. So, in case you missed it in winter, below we talk not only about the best school reform experience, but also why South Caucasus is lagging behind. This type of articles do not lose their value with time, alas.

Education is basic for achieving progress in any other direction.  But how do South Caucasian students compare with peers? How well can they read?

It is our pleasure to introduce Ms. Gunda TIRE, PISA National Project Manager at Foundation Innove. PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, and Innove is an education competence center in Estonia. The reason why we invited an expert from Estonia is simple: Because Estonian students are the best in Europe

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Indeed, according to recent PISA worldwide student assessment results, the Estonian 15-year olds have the Europe’s highest scores in all disciplines. First of all, please accept our sincere congratulations to Estonian friends with this excellent achievement! I know it was not unexpected, since Estonia’s results have been going up for some time, but anyway how was the top achievement perceived - by ordinary people and by professionals?

Gunda TIRE:  Thank you very much for the kind words, and we really appreciate your invitation to share the Estonian PISA experience with your readers!

Sebastian MOLINEUS (video): "Digital economy is key driver for growth and a critical aspect of response to COVID"

25.08.2020 (Caucasian Journal What is the main focus of World Bank's activities in the South Caucasus? What type of investment projects are in especial demand in our region? How did Georgia's COVID response influence the  business environment?

Our today's video discussion with Mr. Sebastian MOLINEUS centers around these questions. Mr. Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, is already well known to readers of Caucasian Journal

Today for the first time we are pleased to offer his interview in a video format.

Watch video interview with Sebastian MOLINEUS below.

To be first to view all our exclusive video interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.



Meni BENISH (video): "I never had in any country such a supportive government"

16.08.2020 (Caucasian Journal What factors make Georgia attractive to foreign investors, especially to the Israeli businesspeople? Which industry and agriculture sectors offer the most promising business opportunities? 

Mr. Meni BENISH is founder of Israel-Georgian Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), Honorary Consul of Georgia in Israel, and the head of several successful enterprises in Georgia, including the Archi Group. 

Last month he gave an interview to us focusing on establishment of IGCC. In his today's video talk Mr. Benish shares views on business environment in Georgia.

Watch video interview with Meni BENISH below.

To be first to view all our exclusive video interviews, please subscribe here to our YouTube Channel.