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Armenia pointed to the beam in Saakashvili’s eye2009-03-12 13:48
Erevan recommended that Mikheil Saakashvili stop drawing people's attention to the crisis in the neighboring states and deal with internal problems. A snap towards the Georgian leader was caused by his words on dependence between dram devaluation and Armenia's friendship with Russia.
Armenia is full of indignation: Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili casually gave a bitterly negative evaluation of the economic processes in the neighboring country. Most probably he aimed the arrows of criticism at his August foe but hit a harmless friend of his.
"You must be informed that over the recent few weeks Armenia's economy has crashed. It happened because Armenia had been totally dependent on the Russian market and when the Russian market collapsed Armenia's economy followed suit. We are in the region with the countries around us having current economic difficulties. Georgia will resist", - Mikheil Saakashvili stated. This tirade on the harm of economic "dependence" on Russia took place at the opening ceremony of Kopala new hotel in Tbilisi suburb that was constructed by Tamaz Kopaleshvili, a Russian businessman of Georgian origin. There is nothing to be surprised at - Saakashvili has long been famous for selecting the most appropriate places for his speeches. For instance he expressed his wish to restore
relations with Russia in the notorious museum of the Soviet occupation.
Armenian leaders did not condescend to react to the neighbor's unfriendly outshot taking the international scandal down to the level of press services. Spokesman for the Armenian President Samvel Farmanyan disseminated a critical but a quite diplomatically reserved comment: "The evaluations presented by the president of Georgia on Armenia's economy during the opening ceremony of an entertainment center are groundless. I do not think such characteristics are the best option to distract his own people's attention from numerous problems Georgia has".
Georgia showed "concern" about the future of Armenian dram. It will be noticed that recently Armenian national currency is demonstrating a gradual strengthening versus dollar. So the "floating rate" is not a "collapse" as Saakashvili put it. It is also useless to associate the Armenian problems with the situation in Russia only. Other trade partners of Armenia such as Iran and Turkey have been affected by the global crisis too. Besides Georgian president is quite awkward speaking about independence of his country. It is common knowledge that most part of the real economy is in the hands of Russian businessmen and lots of people depend on private money transfers from Russia.
Why did Saakashvili start searching for a straw in the eyes of others? Most probably he tried to kill several birds with one stone. Firstly the economy in Georgia is in a really pitiful state. Today the President of Georgia's National Bank Georgy Kadagidze confessed in his interview with "Banks and Finance" newspaper: the country is in a recession. Mikheil Saakashvili badly wanted to show that the situation of the "neighbors" was much worse. By the way this version is confirmed by Panorama.am reporting that Georgian TV people "are looking for the crisis in Armenia". According to the Armenian journalists their colleagues have been commissioned to collect maximum video information on the "economic downfall" in Armenia.
The second objective of Saakashvili's statement was doubtless exaltation. For if everything is wrong in other countries, and it is OK in Georgia - this is a merit of the wise leader.