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Georgia is left alone2009-06-15 21:48
The political confrontation in Georgia obscured the economic issues to be faced as soon as the country officially moves out of CIS on 18 August 2009.
Let us remind you that after "the eighty-day war", President of Georgia Mikhail Saakasvhili during the meeting in front of the parliament in Tbilisi announced Georgia's intention to move out of CIS. "We say the final farewell to the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union will never be back here", - Saakashvili stated at the one-hundred-thousand meeting in front of the parliament on the 12th of August last year.
"We are calling upon Ukraine and other countries to quit the Commonwealth of Independent Countries, where Russia is dominating", - Saakashvili declaimed, his speech followed by wild applause. However, for some reason, other CIS member-countries did not listen to Mr. Saakashvili's appeal and remained in the organization.
As is known, Commonwealth of Independent Countries was formed immediately after the USSR collapsed. CIS includes 12 countries. The CIS establishment declaration was signed on 21 December 1991. Georgia joined CIS at the end of 1993 after the appeal of the then President Eduard Shevardnadze. Now, the date of final termination of Georgia's membership in CIS is coming; the termination taking effect one year after the relevant appeal on the part of Georgia.
"Georgia has moved out of CIS. In fact, it has never been its true member", - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov commented on the Georgian authorities' decision to quit the organization.
In his opinion, "Georgia's participation in the Commonwealth within the last several years was hardly aimed at its consolidation; rather, at CIS erosion", that is why, as the minister believes, Georgia's removal from the Commonwealth will have no effect upon its activity.
Still, what effect will the removal from the Commonwealth have upon Georgia?
Head of the Foreign Trade Policy Department of the Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia Marina Machavariani told the journalists that, on moving out of the Commonwealth, Georgia is counting upon further maintenance of free trade relationship with the CIS countries. Ms. Machavariani pointed at certain international standards enabling to use the mechanisms of free goods flow between Georgia and several other countries. "Georgia has currently got bilateral free trade relationship with eight CIS countries and there are also free economic zone agreements in place with Azerbaijan and Ukraine as the member-countries of GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova)". She also added that those two countries account for up to 65% of the whole amount of the Georgian export.
American political expert John C.K. Daly, the author of an article called "The consequence of Georgia's removal from CIS" published in the United Press International bulletin has got less optimistic view of the situation than Ms. Machavariani.
"Georgia hopes to maintain free trade relations with the member-countries of Commonwealth of Independent Countries after its removal on August 18, - the American experts says. - But if we take into account the consequences of its hasty military clash with Russia last August we see the foolishness of such hope, for the confrontation reminded other former Soviet republics in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Armenia, of Moscow's intention to protect its own, according to Dmitri Medvedev, "privileged interest" in the post-Soviet territory".
Then, John Daly ponders upon the situation after the "hasty military clash with Russia" that took place in that region last August.