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Difficult Conversation with Compatriots2009-11-26 23:56
The ex Premier of Georgia, now leader of the opposition movement «For a Fair Georgia» Zurab Nogaideli, has just met his compatriots in Moscow. He was invited to the "Open Conversation" discussion club by the President of the Alliance of Georgians in Russia Mikhail Khubutia. The meeting turned out to be remarkable. Questions could be asked not only by journalists but ordinary people who are not used to calibrating phrases and are not taught diplomacy skills.
This is the second visit of Zurab Nogaideli to Moscow during the latest month. He is the first Georgian politician who has tried to break through the wall of incomprehension between Georgia and Russia after the events of last August.
His main основные postulates are: «Confrontation with Russia is unproductive», «We must start a dialog with Russia without any preliminary conditions». His program aimed at the restoration of the territorial integrity of Georgia, which is the main target of the external and internal politics of Georgia, is based on such a motto: «First of all we must restore the confidence of people - Abkhazians, Ossetians, Georgians, - realize joint economic programs and then speak on reunification of the territories».
It was stated by Nogaideli during his first visit to Moscow, now he has repeated these words. Of course, politicians and diplomats understand that no quick breakthrough in the Georgian and Russian relations can be expected, that the lost confidence cannot be restored so easily now, it will take several years, that the situation must be resolved slowly and thoroughly.
However, ordinary people, tired of wars and discord, having lost their homes, want to hear an immediate answer to the question: «What next?» It was mostly this question in various forms that Nogaideli's compatriots living in Russia for a long time and dreaming to return home asked him. But... conflicts, war, crisis.
And the meeting in the discussion club «Open Conversation» resulted really open. After a couple of minutes from its beginning a real Georgia could be felt: emotional, noisy, demanding an answer right here and right now, not democratic evasion in the «we'll think and see» style.
Most of the participants were refugees. Those who, searching for a better life in Russia as a result of Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts that broke out in the early 1990s. Many of them still live illegally in Russia and they have no reason to go back to Georgia without any job or home.
So people showered sharp questions on the ex Premier, now oppositionist: «You worked as a Prime Minister in Saakashvili's government for four years, now you are criticizing him, how did you realize the settlement plans? How are you going to restore the confidence of Abkhazians and Ossetians if there are Russian troops there now and nobody wants to speak to Georgians? Is Saakashvili an agent of the Kremlin? Why do you blame Saakashvili for everything without saying a word on the mistakes committed both by Shevardnadze's government and by Russian politicians?»
This is just one ounce of the hot questions that politicians swaying people's destinies hardly ask each other at their meetings and negotiations. The Tbilisi guest should be rendered his due.