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Wednesday, 26 October 2016


Russian-Georgian dialogue: Things have started moving

2013-02-05 20:13

Russian-Georgian dialogue: Things have started moving. 29025.jpeg

Yesterday in Tbilisi, there was held a conference "Georgia after the 2012 election and the prospects of Russian-Georgian relations". As part of this conference, a group of young Russian experts, political scientists and journalists arrived in Tbilisi. The meeting in the format of dialogue was organized by the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation. Russian delegation was represented by Nicholai Silaev - Senior Fellow, Center for the Caucasus and Regional Security, MGIMO under the MFA of Russia, Andrei Sushentsov - professor of the department of applied analysis of international issues, MGIMO, Fyodor Lukyanov - Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and the editor in chief of the magazine "Russia in Global Affairs" and political analyst Sergei

Mikheev. Georgia was represented by experts in the field of economics, law, politics, political science, such as Lado Papava, Zurab Abashidze, Ivliane Khaindrava, Nana Devdariani, Petre Mamradze, different NGOs and others.

Essentially, this meeting was to be an attempt to get closer, a kind of platform for negotiations, where both parties could talk and listen. Many expected from this dialogue some new proposals, or at least a fresh assessment of the old urgent problems. But in reality, opinions of independent experts painfully resembled the position of official Moscow.

One of the main topics of discussion was the Euro-Atlantic vector of Georgian foreign policy annoying Russia. Russian experts argue that the problem is not Russia's unwillingness of Georgia's rapprochement with the European Union. The problem is that the "Western" choice of Georgia must not automatically mean the anti-Russian vector implying the extension of the military infrastructure of NATO right up to Russia's borders. "The stake on Russia's weakening is making the progress of Georgian strategy dependent on factors on which Tbilisi cannot affect", say Russian experts. Furthermore, they believe that this stake prevents Georgia from benefits from the advantages of Russia's economic growth enjoyed by neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Moscow urges Tbilisi not to block discussion of other mechanisms to ensure the security of Georgia in addition to NATO, as well as of an alternative strategy in general.

Member of the Russian delegation, Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, said he did not understand the aspirations of Georgia into NATO and the EU. "It is understandable that the European Union is not expecting Georgia's entry. And NATO membership can be possible for Georgia only with one specific power. After the change of government position of official Washington also has changed", Lukyanov said. He stressed the decline of Washington's interest to Central and Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Sergi Kapanadze, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the founder of the NGO GRASS, responded to this statement from the Georgian side. He said that the main thing for Georgia is that Russia should not dictate Georgia which foreign policy to adhere. It must be independent choice. "When we are talking about the focus on the European countries, in the first place we mean some values inherent in European countries. We're talking about liberal democracy as the state and social model, which is the main aim of Georgia", said Mr. Kapanadze.

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