Ambassador Petr KUBERNÁT: “Our priority is to help the EU integration of Georgia - if they wish”

Petr Kubernat
18.11.2023 (Caucasian Journal) Today Caucasian Journal has the honour to talk with His Excellency Petr KUBERNÁT, the newly appointed Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia. His term in Tbilisi started last August. Mr. Kubernát has an impressive experience in diplomatic and other governmental service, as well as in the private sector.

ქართულად:  Read the Georgian version here.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Your Excellency, welcome to Georgia and to Caucasian Journal, we thank you for attention to our readers.  Let me first congratulate you with the Czech national holiday – the Freedom and Democracy Day – which is celebrated on November 17. If I’m correct, throughout your career you have been working primarily in Western Europe. Does Georgia seem like a terra incognita to you? 

Petr KUBERNÁT: I was in Georgia for the first time in 1982. It was during my study at the Taras Shevchenko University in Kiev. I studied international law and international relations there, and my specialization was international economic relations.  We decided with one of my friends to see a little bit outside of Ukraine. So we went to the Caucasus republics, starting with Tbilisi and continuing to Yerevan and Baku.  

It was more than 40 years ago. I still remember the “Tarkhun” – that green lemonade. I like it very much, and I am very glad that I found it again here. Then I remember from that time, there was already the statue – Mother Georgia, and she's still there. And then I remember the Rustaveli Avenue, which was very nice, and now it’s even better and nicer, I think. But all the other things have changed – changed in very positive ways, including the people. So this is my second time in Georgia.

Next meeting of Caucasian Journal Club to discuss Taliban and religious extremism

CJ Club
13.11.2023.  On November 21, Caucasian Journal and International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia have the pleasure to invite you to the Caucasian Journal Club meeting "The Taliban’s Jihad: Why Religious Extremism Will Continue to Threaten World Security" 

After almost 10 years spent in Afghanistan, the Swiss journalist Franz MARTY is going to share his reflections with the Caucasian Journal Club. Franz is a freelance journalist who, between December 2014 and June 2023, including during the Taliban takeover in August 2021, lived and worked in Afghanistan. While there, he conducted exclusive interviews with Taliban (before and after their return to power) as well as unaccompanied investigative reporting from remote and hostile corners of the country.

Mr. Marty is a fellow of the Swiss Institute For Global Affairs and has written for The Diplomat, Jane's, The Afghanistan Analysts Network, Weltwoche, and Neue Zürcher Zeitung, among others. He has also contributed to numerous live broadcasts on CNN, Deutsche Welle, France 24, BBC World Service, and Radio France Internationale.

A proposal for future electoral system of Abkhazia Autonomous Republic – A Path Towards Sustainable Conflict Transformation

G Arziani
27.09.2023 (Caucasian Journal) Caucasian Journal is open to publishing articles contributed by the experts from various fields.  

Our today's author is Giorgi ARZIANI, the founder of Tbilisi School for Social Research, an independent think-tank. 



This year marks 30 years since the de-facto occupation of Abkhazia. In this essay, I will address some of the most challenging issues of de-occupation, reintegration, and conflict transformation. I will put forward a proposal for a future electoral system of the Abkhazia Autonomous Republic, which might set a framework for the elections of the local Parliament in a post-occupation scenario. It is important to note that the proposal is based on the assumption that de-occupation and conflict transformation will be achieved through a peaceful negotiation process involving international stakeholders and local communities and will include the return of IDPs and refugees to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. Much, of course, will depend upon the outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Ran BERGER: "The warm welcome in Georgia is not something we take for granted"

  How easy is it to work globally from South Caucasus? 
Focus on IT
  How big is Georgia's potential in hi tech?
Focus on IT is the Caucasian Journal's new interview series which we're starting today. We reach out to the top executives of IT companies which are based, present, or relocated in Georgia, to hear their first-hand comments and experiences. 
  Got something to say? Leave a comment or email us to become our next speaker!

Ran Berger
29.08.2023 (Caucasian Journal).  Georgia's revenues from IT services are booming and even seem to exceed the wine export revenues – the country’s traditional income resource. However, compared to many other countries, the progress of Georgia’s IT sector is still modest. What is needed to make Georgia more competitive and attractive to serious investors? What are the advantages and pitfalls of working globally from Georgia?

Caucasian Journal decided to learn directly from the decision-makers with hands-on experience in this country. Today we are grateful to Ran BERGER, co-founder and CEO at Flat Rock Technology (Great Britain) for answering our questions.    

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ: Dear Ran, welcome to Caucasian Journal! You seem like a “classical” founder of a software company, which you have been developing during 15 years from a scratch to a strong 400+ employees team scattered over several countries. Can we start with a bit more information about yourself and your company?

Ran BERGER: Dear Alexander, thank you for the opportunity to share my experience and our Georgia journey with you and with the Caucasian Journal's readers. I started my career in IT as a young engineer in 1999 and I built my experience since then. My main journey was with large scale organizational systems such as ERP, CRM and BI [respectively: Enterprise resource planning, Customer relationship management, Business intelligence - CJ] which allowed me to understand how the main business functions and processes work, and how various systems can optimize them. During the early stages of my career I saw how the internet is changing our lives and businesses, allowing us to rapidly scale and integrate with other partners in the value chain. 

Ruben VARDANYAN: "When you are in blockade it is really important to be unified" (video)

23.08.2023 (
Caucasian Journal). Our today's interview is focusing on blockade of the Republic of Artsakh - an ongoing event in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which left 120,000 people in the region without access to food, medicine and critical supplies.
We are sharing the interview with Ruben VARDANYAN, the Armenian politician who served as the State Minister of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in 2022-2023, also known as a businessman and philanthropist. 

The region of Artsakh (also known as Nagorno-Karabakh) is disputed between Azerbaijan and the breakaway Republic of Artsakh, which has a majority ethnic Armenian population and is supported by neighboring Armenia.  

The eight-month blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, started on 12 December 2022, has led to grave consequences as no supplies can come through. The first case of death from starvation was recorded in Artsakh earlier this month, according to the Office of the Human Rights Defender in the region. K. Hovhannisyan, a 40-year-old resident of Stepanakert, died as a result of chronic malnutrition and protein deficiency, states a report conducted by the human rights office.

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

Music composers from Armenia and Georgia: An open opportunity for you!

21.08.2023 (Caucasian Journal). Can you write an opera? If yes, this is an opportunity for you. A project supported by European Union is calling for three composers to write three-act opera on environmental sustainability. The composers must be from countries participating in the Creative Europe programme, including Armenia and Georgia.

Each composer selected for this project called the Butterfly will receive a €11,000 gross fee, including performing rights (both in person and online streaming).

The deadline for applications is short! Apply before 17 September.

Tedo JAPARIDZE: "We, the Georgians, should be extremely rational, pragmatic and realistic!"

07.07.2023 (Caucasian Journal) Today we are especially honored to meet with H.E. Tedo JAPARIDZE – one of the most experienced Georgian diplomats, former National Security Adviser and the Secretary of National Security Council, Minister of Foreign Affairs and chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs. 

Mr. Japaridze also served as ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Canada and Mexico, and was secretary-general of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Your Excellency, welcome to Caucasian Journal. There are so many things to talk about, that I would rather leave it up to you what to pick from the today’s ample “menu”. Let’s perhaps start with your perception and state of mind: How would you summarize what you feel about the current moment – as a person, a citizen of your country? 

Tedo JAPARIDZE:  I am, indeed, very much grateful that you invited me to talk. Since the early 1990s  after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and whatever was left after that colossal disruption, we have been discussing tortuously our mutual perspectives as the collapse of the USSR was so traumatic for all of us - to this day, it continues to define not only Russia's identity and its  geopolitical imperatives but also of its immediate neighbors and far beyond, and naturally, of Georgia as well. Since that period, the entire world, including the post-Soviet space, has changed, turning from a no man’s land to something else, however, maybe still unclear to us. From a frightening stability of the “Cold War” up to the stages of “post-Soviet,” “post-modern,” “new normal,” “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns” and many others, not well-defined and precise interpretations and rationale, especially of mental maps and landscapes, delusional ideas, predominantly, in tragic forms, and the brutal war in Ukraine reaffirms that distressing fact on the ground. 

Jonathan DJANOGLY MP: "The overall desires of our two countries are similar"

09.06.2023 (Caucasian Journal) The special guest of Caucasian Journal today is Mr. Jonathan DJANOGLY, Member of Parliament (MP) of the United Kingdom and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Georgia. 

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Dear Mr. Djanogly, welcome to Caucasian Journal, and many thanks for attention to our readers. You are the head of your Parliament’s Group on Georgia, and the Honorary Member of the British Georgian Society, received in recognition of “an outstanding role played in support of Anglo-Georgian relations”. May I start by asking how popular is Georgia among the British parliamentarians? What are the roots of your interest towards this region? 

Jonathan DJANOGLY MP: I joined the Georgia All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) around ten years ago after returning from a parliamentary delegation to Georgia. I was incredibly impressed with the beauty of the Georgian countryside, its history and the warmth of its people. I was even intrigued by the complexity of its politics.

Since that time, the interest in Georgia in the British Parliament has increased significantly, and we have over fifty members of the APPG representing both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

AK: I suppose there is a lot that the Members of Parliament can do to help in developing the relations with a foreign country. In case of Georgia, can you share some of the success stories of the parliamentarians’ involvement? Or, perhaps, some of the challenges that you or your colleagues helped to resolve?

Professor Dan HEALEY: "Oxford University is keenly interested in Georgian affairs"

01.06.2023 (Caucasian Journal) While the Britain’s Oxford University is hosting its second Georgia-Oxford Forum “Georgia In A Changing World” tomorrow on June 2, Caucasian Journal has interviewed Professor Dan HEALEY, Georgian Programme Coordinator at the Oxford University’s School of Global and Area Studies, author of many books on social and cultural history of Soviet Union and post-Soviet states. 

We are thankful to Professor Healey for taking time to answer our questions on the very eve of the Georgia-Oxford Forum

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  Dear Professor Healey, I guess your agenda must be especially busy these days due to the Forum, but that's also one of the reasons why your answers are especially topical. May I start by asking what the Oxford University’s Georgian Programme is about, and how popular is Georgia among the Oxford students?

Dan HEALEY: The Georgian Programme at Oxford University has grown organically over several years. We have a number of different initiatives. They are all housed in the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies – but we collaborate with many other branches of the University. So for example, we have 17 students currently learning the Georgian language, from absolute beginners (I am one of these students - მე ვწავლობ ქართულს) to accomplished literary translators. Our teacher of Georgian is Lia Chokoshvili, and she is amazing, inspiring, and extremely effective. Another part of the language work she does is literary translation and publication of Georgian literature in English. The highest-level students participate in a Translation Seminar run by Lia, and they produce quality translations of Georgian classic and modern literature into English. Right now they are working on Goderdzi Chokheli’s novel Human Sadness. It will be published in English by Dedalus Books, with support from the Georgian Writers’ House. And they’ve just published a bilingual edition of the fables of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani from his Book of Wisdom and Lies. Future work by the Translation Seminar is generously supported this year by the Ministry of Education of Georgia.

Fady ASLY: "I'm very sad, but this can change quickly" (video)

04.05.2023 (
Caucasian Journal Fady ASLY, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia (ICC Georgia), gave an extensive video interview to Caucasian Journal. 
The interview was linked to the recent appointment of Mr. Asly as chairman of the ICC Regional Consultative Group. However, besides the ICC's news, the conversation with Mr. Asly covered a broad range of Georgia's economic and political issues - from FDI to corruption, and from the judiciary system to the country's EU accession perspective. Watch the video talk below.

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