Armeno-Georgian War of 1918

and Armeno-Georgian Territorial Issue in the 20th Century



By  Andrew Andersen and Georg Egge






Peace Agreement and Temporary Delimitation



By midnight of January 1 1919, all military actions were ceased, and the peace talks began under British and French patronage. The talks took place in Kara-Kilis with the participation of the top commanders of both Armenian and Georgian armies. A few days later, all the participants moved to Tiflis where the talks went on.


Meanwhile, on January 3, an additional 300 strong British expeditionary force landed in Georgian port town of Poti and headed for Tiflis and Borchalo.


On January 9 1919, a tripartite Armenian-British-Georgian Conference was open in Tiflis with the purpose of official ending of the war and working out the conditions of peace between the two nations. The Chairman of the Conference was British Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Neil Stewart. The work of the Conference started on January 10 and went on until the night of January 17 1919, when during its final session, a provisional peace agreement regarding the end of the war and the creation of a neutral zone in the sector of Lori was signed by representatives of Armenian and Georgian governments. The Armenian government also dropped their claims over Akhalkalaki county[1] under the condition that the county is monitored by the representatives of the Allied powers and local Armenians are guaranteed participation in county administration [2].


The northern boundary of the Neutral Zone between the two “sister republics” was declared to be the line of the furthest counter-advance of Georgian troops as per the beginning of the ceasefire (December 31, 1918, 24:00):


“... the straight line from the mountain of Deli-Dagh through the mountain pass towards the village of Irgan-Chay; further – along the straight line till the hillock number 798 and further to the hillock of Kuludash (855.5), hillock number 676, through the village of Saatly, hillock number 694,then through the village of Akhkerpi and from there – the straight line to the hillock number 492, the village of Opreti, church ruins of the village of Baradzor near the village of Khojorni, the village of Sadakhlo, the railway station of Sadakhlo, hillock number 1554 to the north of Sadakhlo, then further on to the hillock number 2660 (the mountain of Tana-Dagh), then further to the sign denoting a spring which is to the north of the sign denoting the mountain of Khalutly-Bashi. The villages of Irgan-Chay, Jandari, Akhkerpi, Opreti, Khojorni, Baradzor and Sadakhlo remain to the north of the above line”[3].


The southern border of the Neutral Zone was drawn exactly along the former Georgian-Turkish demarcation line, as per the beginning of July of 1918.[4]  The Neutral Zone later referred to as “the Neutral Zone of Lori” (because in embraced a considerable part of the Lori sector of the county of Borchalo) included the copper mines of Alaverdi, as well as 43 village communities and some 40 km of railway line with six stations[5].


The decisions of the Conference also regulated the strength of Armenian and Georgian military contingents stationed in the area of conflict:


«To the north of the Neutral Zone of the county of Borchalo Georgian troops are to be stationed. The total amount of border guard troops not to exceed 200 men.


At the station of Ashagi-Seral the strength of Georgian troops should not exceed one battalion with not more than 360 men with 4 cannons. Out of that battalion two 60 men strong groups should be deployed to establish picket lines near the villages of Opreti and Sadakhlo. A few border guard units with not more than 50 men each are to be deployed between the village of Rodniki and the confluence of the rivers Khram and Kura;


The deployment of Armenian troops: one 125 men strong company will be stationed in Kolageran and in Shynykh. In Jelal-Ogly sector an in the villages of Gergery and Nikolaevka one battalion consisting of three companies with not more than 360 men will be stationed together with an artillery company with 50 men and 4 cannons. One 125 men strong company will also be deployed in Novopokrovka.


Neither Georgian forces in the northern sector of the county of Borchalo, nor the Armenian troops in the southern sector of the same county, may exceed the strength of 660 men;


Both parties are entitled to replace infantry units with the cavalry ones;


In the county of Akhalkalaki the Georgian garrison  will not exceed two companies consisting of 225 men and one artillery unit;


Both parties undertake to fulfill the conditions as prescribed by the above paragraphs, no later than midnight of January 14 of the year 1919»[6].


While the work of the conference went on, the British forces in accordance with the agreement began to take over the Lori sector with its copper mines and railway. On January 16 Major General G.T. Forrestier-Walker, the new commander of the British forces in the Caucasus, arrived in Tiflis together with his headquarters and a guard detachment. He was followed by an additional 1000 men strong British contingent.


On January 27, 1919, the Neutral Zone of Lori was reorganized by the British into three districts: Uzunlar, Vorontsovka and Alaverdi. At the head of each district a Resident Commissar chosen from local residents was appointed. All the three Commissars were subordinate to Captain A.S.G. Douglas who was formally appointed the Allied Commissioner General (i.e. British governor) of the Neutral Zone.[7]


It is also important to mention here that the peace agreement of January 17, 1919, was of preliminary character. It was specified in it that the final resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Georgia was to take place at the Paris Peace Conference together with final border delimitation between the two countries[8].













[1] Kazemzadeh, p. 181

[2] Hovannisian, Vol. I, р. 120

[3] Чачхиани – стр. 193

[4] Там же – стр. 193

[5] Hovannisian, Vol. I, р. 121

[6] Чачхианистр. 193-194

[7] Hovannisian, Vol. I, р. 122

[8] Кадишев, стр. 173