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Georgia in a lamb’s skin2011-12-08 14:38
Some of the Georgian politicians still pretend that the forever lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia may one day be brought back under Tbilisi's sovereignty. Various proposals on "reintegration" of the two republics are made every day. However, Georgian government should better understand that it is no longer to dictate terms to Tskhinval and Sukhum and concentrate on much more important things instead of idle talk.
Not so long ago, Vice Speaker of the Georgian parliament Paata Davitaya made an unexpected pass at South Ossetia. "If they want to be heard by anyone in future, the only way out for them is co-existence with Georgia. I address them with a request and call on them to come to their senses and take a decision to come back to Georgia for the sake of their future development. I am sure all the Georgians will be eager to embrace them and provide maximum rights", - he said.
That's too simple, though. No apology for the multi-year blockade, no repentance for the bloody five-day war. Tbilisi cannot stand the very idea of accepting responsibility for the events of August 2008 and is ready to deal with Tskhinval only from a position of strength with a touch of indulgence: well, guys, you've played independence enough; time to come "home" and we will try to be kind enough to forgive your obstinacy. And now let us imagine what might happen to the Ossetians should they decide to give up their sovereignty that took so much effort to conquer.
Local population will naturally be ousted. However, many will prefer to leave the republic by choice. Official Tbilisi cannot be expected to grand pardon to those who have fought against Georgia, and practically every grown-up man has at least once taken a submachine gun and took part in a firefight with the Georgian soldiers. The threat of prison and fear for their families will make them leave, so the Ossetian population of the theoretic South-Ossetian autonomy will decrease several times. The republic will also be deprived of its name to become some Tskhinvali region, Samachablo or Shida Kartli with the right of self-government brought down to the minimum. It will be government by Dmitry Sanakoyev or his political clone. Several Ossetians seduced by Tbilisi's promises will take up administrative posts and the rest of positions will surely be occupied by representatives of the Georgian nationality, which will lead the entire region to absolute and unquestioned controllability.
Further scenario is easily predictable: the formerly independent state will gradually turn into a backward appendix of the rest of Georgia. Even today Tbilisi has got no money to develop the existing land, not to mention South Ossetia. The infrastructure of the republic damaged by the multi-year conflict will finally be ruined and the resources available will be taken out of the country. It is no use to mention the restoration of dwellings: Tskhinval citizens are most likely to repeat the fate of the Georgian refugees who were granted keys to the hastily erected houses with leaking roofs.