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The youth will pave the way to Georgia?2012-07-31 17:18
July 28-29, under the auspices of the "Open Society - Georgia" and a non-profit Georgian organization the "Caucasian House" a forum "The Georgian-Russian dialogue for peace and cooperation" is being held. Eight young Russian expert community representatives spoke on current topics with their Georgian colleagues. George Shayshmelashvili, coordinator of the Center for Cultural Relations of the "Caucasian House" told GTimes about how it passed.
"The young experts from Russia spoke with their peers, young political scientists and experts in international affairs from Georgia. The Russians - representatives of academic institutions, and the Georgians - representatives of NGOs, since our expert community is involved in the non-profit organizations, not in state institutions. The meetings were held beyond the format of political preferences. The Georgians talked to the Russians not like the supporters of Saakashvili's or Ivanishvili's platform, but like colleagues with colleagues. Analysts are not members of political parties and are not government officials. They write articles, speak with the papers and lectures".
Delegation from Russia was interested in Georgian reforms and media policy. The Russians were interested in the work of the TV-channel "PIC". At the same time, both sides tried to bypass such "rough edges" like Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "Russian speakers have explained their Georgian colleagues about Russia's interests in the East, as well as how did Russia's expert community perceive Georgian reforms. Maybe the Georgians have agreed not with all Russians' arguments, but they listened and made comments. After all, we are adult and educated people, not children. Russians are talking about such issues as the relationship between Russia and NATO, Turkey's role in the Caucasus, relations between Georgia and Turkey. Our perception of these phenomenas is different from our Russian colleagues' perception. The problem of differences of experts' perception was raised at this event", Giorgi Shayshmelashvili told GTimes.
One member of the Russian delegation is a young political scientist Natalia Burlinova, head of the fund "Creative Diplomacy". Natalia is a typical representative of those who are called in Russia "young creative class" - a young independent intellectual. The event organizers specifically sought to gather only such people in Tbilisi. "The experts of the Soviet generation have well-established ideas about things, their own approach to issues, own beliefs, they do not always show flexibility in relation to these issues. Meanwhile, the younger generation both in Georgia and Russia, who had no possibility of interaction with each other in the past, are growing up, and so their approach can be more innovative", Natalia Burlinova told Georgian media.
Thus, give the way to young. Youth and freedom from stereotypes is a way to normalize Russian-Georgian relations. Experts of the older generation are looking at this approach very skeptically.
Felix Stanevsky, the head of the Caucasus Institute of the CIS countries, former Russian Ambassador to Georgia.