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Tbilisi armed with hospitality2010-10-15 19:23
According to Tbilisi officials, one of the goals of canceling the visa regime for the people of North-Caucasian republics is the improvement of Georgia's touristic attractiveness. However, in this case, just like in many other initiations, Saakashvili's regime is purposefully putting the carriage before the horse. Georgian government obviously decided to cover its unattractive and not very real initiative on all sides. Yet, these attempts are hardly successful so far.
Several days have passed since Georgian authorities announced their decision on granting the people of the North-Caucasian republics the right of a visa-free entrance into the country. Practically each of the more or less valuable representatives of the official Tbilisi gives more and more reasons why this initiative should be regarded as a really triumphant break of the Georgian diplomats. Besides, each of them finds new aspects in the initiative, which are definitely positive.
There is an impression that before announcing the notorious visa cancellation to the world, Georgian politicians had distributed the roles and utterances: you will tell about the integration in the Caucasus and you - about the growing economical attractiveness, and you, dear, will have to dwell upon Georgia's peaceful role in the Caucasus.
Georgian State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration Georgy Baramidze could not help joining the performance. He enjoyed the privilege of telling the public that the cancellation of visas for the people of the North-Caucasian republic is connected with the government's desire to ensure additional flow of tourists. It turns out that the people of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia are just dreaming of lounging at the "globally famous" Georgian resorts. Indeed, one should forget about the near-by Sochi, Gelendzhik and Novorossijsk and go somewhere hell and gone.
It should also be noted that with all the respect for the people of the North Caucasus, Sakartvelo's travel agents will hardly want to be responsible for the consequences of the "hot" behavior of the numerous guests from this unquiet region, should such guests happen. Or, has Mr. Baramidze become bored without the "tourist group" from Vostok Chechen battalion that visited Georgia a couple of years ago?
The country of the victorious Rose Revolution looks miserable in its attempt to tear those people, who have been loyal to Russia for hundreds of years, away from it. By the way, Georgia's role in the Caucasus implies this very "tear-off", and the "civilized" attempts stated by representatives of Saakashvili's regime in their florid verbiages have nothing to do with reality.
According to former RF Ambassador to Georgia, head of the Caucasian Department at the Institute of CIS Countries Felix Stanevsky, Tbilisi's decision to open the boundaries to the North-Caucasian people is only part of the politics of competing with Russia promoted by Mikheil Saakashvili.
"This was done to spite Russia. It's not likely that this initiative was aimed at reconciliation with Moscow. Tbilisi seems to show the whole world that they weren't born yesterday and can do without the central Russian authorities in the North Caucasus, that they are not going to reckon with the fact that these are Russian republics. However, this double policy has got nothing good and constructive in it", - the expert said in his interview to GeorgiaTimes correspondent.