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Putin on the air of Rustavi-2: is there truly a thaw?2009-09-02 23:42
The GeorgiaTimes correspondent is having a talk with the Georgian and Russian political experts about the interview given yesterday by the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to the Georgian TV channel Rustavi-2. This is quite an important event, considering the fact that the Russian television was blocked in Georgia after the August events and is able to broadcast within a very limited format. Besides, Rustavi-2 has long since lost its halo of being oppositional, having turned into the voice of the government. How was the Russian prime minister's speech taken in Georgia? Is there anything to expect from this "breakthrough" in the Georgian informational space?
A Georgian journalist has "caught" the Russian prime minister during the events in Poland held in connection with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War. Judging by the video record, the interview was not a scheduled one. Vladimir Vladimirovitch did not refuse to talk to the Rustavi-2 journalist. The topic of the conversation was the sorest one for Georgia: the August war and the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russian Prime Minister stated once again that he lays the entire blame for the latest events between Georgia and Russia on the official Tbilisi.
"Within several years we have been supporting the territorial integrity of Georgia. However, the situation changed radically after what Mr. Saakashvili has done. We had no choice", - Vladimir Putin specially underlined. According to him, it was the irresponsible actions of the Georgian government that carried Russia to the tragedy, the Voice of Russia radio station is citing the Russian leader. "Nothing would have happened if Georgia had granted autonomy to Abkhazia and Ossetia earlier and had not suppressed the freedom of the Abkhazians and Ossetians", - RBK is citing Putin's words.
Eventually, Moscow "had no choice", head of the Russian government underlined. "What you call occupation, the minor Caucasian nations, the Abkhazians and Ossetians, are calling liberation and obtaining of independence. I do not want to distress or humiliate Georgia by what has happened but I would like to stress once again that it was the irresponsible actions of the Georgian authorities that carried us to the tragedy", - Putin is cited by Novosti-Georgia. The prime minister has specially stressed the fact that the current problem lies with Saakashvili's regime and that Russia treats the Georgian people with respect.
The official Tbilisi is not giving any comments on this interview with Vladimir Putin, which is, in fact, an appeal to the Georgian people. Meanwhile, the very fact of its appearance on the air of a Georgian TV company, which has recently turned into the voice of the regime, sets one thinking, for the Georgian media do not conceal their attitude to the Russian prime minister, which is far from being complementary, often referring to him as to "the inspirator and ideologist of the August 2008 aggression".
However, several years ago, a well-known Georgian ballet-dancer Nino Ananiashvili said that if the then President Putin had solved the sorest problem and had come to Tbilisi the people would have carried him in their arms from the very airport! As to Saakashvili, half a year before the war, he invited Vladimir Vladimirovitch to Tbilisi. During the meeting in Novo-Ogarevo, the newly elected president of Georgia assured the Russian prime minister that he was ready "to restore (good tendencies in relationship with Russia) and either start everything anew, or give new energy to cooperation".