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Medvedev’s “humanitarian scenario” and Saakashvili’s “trench option”2010-01-08 17:27
What will Russian-Georgian relations be like this New Year 2010? Can we expect a breakthrough here? There were two tendencies emerging at the end of 2009. The optimistic trend was presented by Dmitry Medvedev at the 4th Euro-Asian media forum in Moscow. An essentially disastrous one was demonstrated by the explosion of the Glory Memorial in Kutaisi.
Now Russian-Georgian relations are undergoing the worst phase over the whole post-Soviet period. Since August 2008 our countries have had no diplomatic relations and consular issues have been mediated by Switzerland. But times used to be different as Russian president recalled at the 4th media forum in mid December. Answering the question of a Georgian journalist Dmitry Medvedev remarked with emphasis: "Our nations are united by ancient friendship and a unique history".
Indeed Georgia had been part of the Russian state for 200 years. Its political elite were honest and noble servants of the Russian monarchy. And there is nothing to add about the Soviet epoch: Georgians were at top leadership positions, and Georgia was the most prosperous Soviet republic. Nowhere in the Union people lived as well as in Georgia. Implementation of fantastic projects of economic development, defense of common home in the Great Patriotic War was done together.
Today after Georgia acquired sovereignty its politicians are trying to impose anti-Russian moods looking for "their view" of the years spent together. Versions of the Soviet Russia's invasion in Georgia in early 1920s, the myth of occupation is all about that: This is a hastily invented legend of their own "contribution" (not of all Soviet people) to the victory over Nazism in WWII (not the Great Patriotic War) when hundreds of Georgians - heroes of the Soviet Union - are forgotten, and the president's team praises Pore Mosulashvili who heroically died in Italy fighting in a guerilla band.
The attitude Georgia's political elite adopted to the recent past led to cynical demolition of the Memorial to the perished in the Great Patriotic War in Kutaisi.
Such insults to Russia and our common past are countless. A recent one is free interpretation of the August 2008 events. Rulers of independent Georgia call their own vicious policy that brought relations with national minorities to a deadlock - the northern neighbor's scheming.
Starting from Zviad Gamsakhurdia who made nationalist slogan Georgia for Georgians a keystone of his policies and up to Mikheil Saakashvili who sparked a bloody aggression in Tskhinval (as acknowledged in Europe thanks to Heidi Tagliavini's report).
Naturally such military drift faces rebuff. There are ideas that challenge Georgia-Russia alliance convincing that this is just an old "survival model for the Georgian state"- This is what people say about "occupied Georgia" rhetoric imposed by Saakashvili's agitprop: "Let's study out who was the occupant: take Jugashvili and Beria...".
Perestroika wounds are painful to everyone. That's why to accusations of the April 1989 dispersion of protesters carried out by Transcaucasian Military District soldiers there is a reasonable answer: the management was general. Besides Russia and its people's sufferings were not fewer. By the way one may recall Edward Shevarnadze's extraordinary generosity: he paid for Washington's benevolence to him personally with the Russian lands. Baker-Shevarnadze agreement envisages transfer of the 200-mile piece of Russia's economic zone to the USA (the USSR-USA sea border line agreement).