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Vashadze drew Tbilisi into an international scandal2010-09-10 18:23
Georgian MFA has hardly stopped rejoicing at the resolution on refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia adopted by UN General Assembly when the joy started fading away: Sakartvelo diplomats again have to redden with shame for their leaders. The growing Armenian-Georgian scandal provoked by Grigol Vashadze's statements regarding the military base in Gumri may completely "freeze" the relationship between Tbilisi and Yerevan.
Let us remind you that Vashadze took the fact of signing the agreement on extending the presence of the Russian military contingent at the Gumri base rather painfully. According to him, the extension of number of the Russian military bases in the South Caucasus means a real threat for Georgia, Azerbaijan and sovereignty of Armenia. "The military base gives no chances to ensure stability, safety and cooperation. At the same time, the base does not create any favorable conditions for settling the current South-Caucasian problems in a civilized and peaceful way. The only purpose of the Russian military base is to enhance the strain in the region. The extension of the term of presence for this military base in Armenia for another 24 years and the alteration of
its functionality presents a real danger for the region", - the head of the Georgian foreign policy administration expressed his apprehensions.
Those who have got the smallest idea of the South Caucasus' political structure made it clear from Vashadze's statement that it contained no concern about the regional safety. It is obvious that the only idea of the head of Foreign Ministry at the moment of verbiage was to have another dig at Russia. However, the minister's personal views are hardly worth being mentioned here: just like any other representative of the official Tbilisi, he has lost the right to voice them a long time ago.
According to Chairman of the Multinational Georgia public movement Arnold Stepanyan, Vashadze would have hardly made a statement like that on his own. He said the agreement on prolonging the term of the Russian military base location in Armenia, especially the enhancement of its function causes great anxiety among the Georgian political elite. "Thus, Georgia's general approach to the situation was voiced. In this connection, one can hardly assume that some representative of the top echelon of power will make an attempt to mitigate his statement", - Stepanyan said in his interview to GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
In the opinion of the head of Multinational Georgia, the authorities of Armenia could have prevented Vashadze's invective if an official report on complete security of the Gumri base for Tbilisi had been made by Yerevan right after the meeting of Medvedev and Sarkisyan. However, even if this report had been printed and stuck on the walls of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, it would hardly have prevented its leader's hysteria. According to Stepanyan, the tendency of interference in other states' affairs is the top priority in the foreign policy of Saakashvili's regime. "Our authorities touch not only upon Armenia but even upon those states that have got no relation to Georgia and are located in another hemisphere", - he underlined.
Of course, such impudence won't go unnoticed. Editor-in-chief of the Russian Armenians' newspaper Erkramas Tigran Tavadjan believes that relationship between Armenia and Georgia may be seriously aggravated: "I don't think it will in anyway affect the official structures' relationship. However, one should expect quite a tangible cooling in the dialogue between the states at the level of political forces and public organizations. However, it will be affected not only by Vashadze's statement.