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Is there a way to stop Georgia’s decay?2010-03-15 09:55
Tbilisi is promoting its new strategy of bringing back Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the authorities of Tskhinval are closing the door to the past: they start delimitating the state border. The demarcation line should bring the republic even more territories than it has got at the moment. The Georgian opposition is appealing to the Kremlin for help to avoid further decay of the country. However, is Moscow able to help, and if so, is there any way to do it?
Tbilisi has been using its new "smart and noble" strategy in respect of the "occupied" territories for several months already. It was approved of both by European Union and the USA. However, the relationship with Abkhazia and South Ossetia has not improved by that time. Tbilisi still accuses Sukhum of suppressing the Georgian citizens in the Galskiy region, while Tskhinval accuses it of abducting people and claiming the Georgian territories.
It turned out in the course of the delimitation of the South-Ossetia border that the republic may claim a greater area than it has got at the moment. As a rule, the neighboring countries that are on peaceful terms try to settle the border-related issues at the meetings held by joint commissions. Naturally, Georgia made no response to the Ossetians' invitation, for it does not treat Tskhinval as Tbilisi's equal, while the first meeting with Russia was held at the end of February.
"The final document developed by the commission must represent an absolutely new map of the Republic of South Ossetia, which will significantly differ from the format of the Soviet South-Ossetian autonomous region", - says The Republic, a South-Ossetian newspaper. According to the periodical, "one will also have to remember about the initially Ossetian territories, which were "given as a present" to the Georgians first by the imperial Russia and then by the Soviet power". The point at issue is the land adjoining the Leningorskiy, Tskhinvalskiy and Javskiy regions of the republic.
Last year, President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity promised that he will demand that Georgia should bring back Trusovskoye Gorge adjoining the north-eastern borders of Java region. He explained that many villages in this territory, which is part of the Kazbegskiy region of Georgia, were set up by the ancient Ossetian families. By the way, their descendants have already established their own organization called Daryal, which has appealed to make Truso part of any of the Ossetias, the North or the South one.
One can easily imagine Tbilisi's indignation at the plan of expanding the "breakaway" region, as they call it. Head of the Georgian Strategic Research Center of the Caucasus Mamuka Areshidze has more than once warned the authorities that it would be dangerous to open a checkpoint on the border with the Russian North Ossetia, especially when the local Ossetians are striving after the integration. According to him, South Ossetia's new claims "are very dangerous, creating a new conflict situation".
"In South Ossetia, there is an actively developed public opinion that South Ossetia is much more than it is in reality; this point is discussed by the local media, and new atlases are printed. Our authorities should react in a more active way in this case; however, I do not see proper attention paid to this alarming problem", - he said in his interview to News Time.
Considering the current aggravation of the relationship and the unsolved problem of exchanging the hostages one can hardly imagine any kind of understanding between Georgia and South Ossetia in the form that is implied in the new strategy of "involvement and cooperation".