The Caucasus Dialogue – 2018. Day 2. The Caucasus in media space

12 September 2018

The Caucasus Dialogue – 2018 continues in Arkhyz. Interesting discussions are taking place from morning till evening.

On September 11, participants were making their own presentations to experts. Working groups suggested plans of resolving existing conflicts in the Caucasus. The first group was looking into the problem of resolving the Karabakh conflict; the second group was analyzing the Georgian-Abkhazian and the Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts and drafted a joint statement about non-use of force in the format of the Geneva Consultations. All experts of the forum participated in the discussion, which followed the presentations.

The agenda of the working day continued with a session on media space of the Caucasus region. Gyulnara Mamedzade, Deputy Director of the International Expert Council “Baku Network” and a member of the Gorchakov Club, described modern trends in mass media of the Caucasus region and also mentioned negative influence of fake news on the general media picture. For example, before the visit of Vladimir Putin to Azerbaijan, the media was spreading information about the alleged decision regarding Azerbaijan’s membership in CSTO. Today, in Armenia, the situation around the Russian military base stationed in Gyumri has been emphasized a lot.

Journalist and editor of newspaper “Chegemskaya Pravda” Inal Khashig told about the status of mass media in Abkhazia and mentioned that Russian media was one of the main sources of information, including about internal events of the region. According to Ignal Khashig, there was no common media space in the Caucasus, which also interfered with development of relations between individual countries.

Dmitry Lortkipanidze, Director of the Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Center, focused on dynamics of situation development around media in Georgia. According to the expert, local media receive active financial support from western foundations and it influences development of the anti-Russian position. The situation, especially, escalated after the conflict of 2008. This being said, Mr. Lortkipanidze believes that Georgia needs to mend ties with the Russian Federation because it is one of its major economic partners and points of common interest will need to be found.

After the presentations of the experts, research advisor of the program Dmitry Markedonov offered the participants to split into groups again and analyze problems of regional integration and problems of security in the Caucasus.

Defense of opinions and presentations by young political scientists, journalists and scientists will take place on September 12.