Interview: SpecialEurasia Research Manager, Giuliano Bifolchi, Analysed Geopolitics and Contemporary Abkhazia with Arda Dgebiya

On August 1st, 2023, during SpecialEurasia’s official mission to Abkhazia, our Research Manager Giuliano Bifolchi engaged in an interview in the Russian language with Arda Dgebiya to explain the organisation’s commitment, investigate the importance of geopolitics in contemporary world, and share his analysis of the current situation in the Abkhaz territory.

The official visit to Abkhazia was among the activities that in July-August 2023 SpecialEurasia conducted in the Caucasus with the aim to create a network of local contacts and evaluate opportunities of cooperation to develop future projects on the region.

Before Abkhazia, SpecialEurasia officially visited the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia in the North Caucasus Federal District to attend the Forum of Indigenous Peoples of Russia, an event organised by Ekzekov Foundation, ANO International Association for the Promotion of the Development of the Abaza-Abkhaz Ethnos “Alashara”, and the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Kunstkamera), as well as the local Government.

Giuliano Bifolchi’s Interview: A Brief Overview

Recorded in Sukhum at the presence of Kan Taniya, Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia and Chief of staff at the World Abaza Congress, Interv’ju s analitikom i jekspertom iz Italii Dzhuliano Bifolki was published yesteday on YouTube and spread among several local platform and social media accounts in Abkhazia and Russia. With the purpose of reaching also the international audience, SpecialEurasia decided to provide a concise summary and overview in the English language of the dialogue that Giuliano Bifolchi had with Arda Dgebiya.

Explaining to the Abkhaz and Russian audience the nature and activities of SpecialEurasia, Bifolchi described it as the convergence of geopolitical expertise and business intelligence which reshapes the way we navigate the global stage. In a time of unprecedented complexity and interconnectivity, SpecialEurasia empowers institutions, organisations, and individuals to comprehend and conquer the ever-evolving international environment.

He underscored the importance of focusing on geopolitical risks, events that can lead to conflicts, terrorism, or economic crises. When queried about the prerequisites for a successful geopolitical analyst, Bifolchi emphasised that formal education alone is insufficient.

Indeed, SpecialEurasia elaborated its methodological approach to geopolitics and Intelligence analysis by mixing extensive travel, voracious reading, proficiency in foreign languages, and cultivating an international network. These activities are indispensable for delving deeply into a nation and its prevailing circumstances.

Turning attention to Abkhazia, Bifolchi accentuated the evident pride of the Abkhaz people in their cultural heritage and independence. Consequently, given this sentiment and bolstered by Russian support, as noted by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Abkhazia, Irakli Tuzhba, during the meeting he had in Sukhum with SpecialEurasia team, it appears improbable that Abkhazia would relinquish its independence to rejoin Georgian territory in the foreseeable future.

Regarding Italy-Abkhazia relations, Bifolchi indicated the current limitations on political discourse, given Italy’s membership in the European Union and NATO, while Abkhazia maintains Russia as its primary strategic partner. In the wake of the Ukraine conflict, the prospect of political discussions between Italy and Abkhazia seems remote.

Nevertheless, opportunities for cultural exchange and tourism development remain promising avenues, given Abkhazia’s renowned offerings in beaches, cuisine, historical landmarks, and natural beauty. Bifolchi also highlighted the instrumental role played by Kan Taniya, former deputy minister of foreign affairs of Abkhazia and current plenipotentiary ambassador, in fostering Italian-Abkhaz relations.

In assessing the commonalities between Abkhaz and Italian cultures, SpecialEurasia Research Manager identified potential synergies, particularly in shared values concerning family, nation, and way of life.

SpecialEurasia’s Commitment to the Caucasus Region:
Future Projects and Events

This interview presented an invaluable opportunity for SpecialEurasia to extend its reach not only within Abkhazia but also across Russian-speaking countries. Considering our longstanding advocacy for recognising the strategic significance of the Caucasus in the broader Eurasian geopolitical context, SpecialEurasia has launched a new editorial project named Kavkaz Files.

This initiative is dedicated to thoroughly documenting and investigating the region, with a special emphasis on the North Caucasus, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh, with the objective of furnishing the international audience with balanced and analytical insights.

Further attesting to the commitment to the Caucasus region, SpecialEurasia is organising a webinar titled “Dinamiche geopolitiche e sociale nel Caucaso contemporaneo: sfide attuali e sviluppi future” on October 11th, 2023, aimed at informing the Italian public audience about the dynamics shaping this pivotal region. This event will serve as a testament to SpecialEurasia’s unwavering dedication to comprehensively understanding and contextualising the geopolitical realities of the Caucasus.

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