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Georgia is ready to go to Sochi2013-03-11 13:31
The issue of Georgia's participation in the Sochi Olympics is finally decided. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said that Georgian athletes would necessarily go to the Winter Olympics 2014 in Russia. What do the Georgian experts think about this? How far the sports and culture are separated from politics?
Ivanishvili is dotting "i's" and crossing "t's" in the question of the Sochi Olympics. As told by Bidzina Ivanishvili to reporters, Georgia will participate in the Winter Olympics in 2014. Of course, this issue should be formally addressed by the Olympic Committee of Georgia, but after the announcement of the Prime Minister, this is rather a technical detail.
"Athletes and artists should take the first steps towards the restoration of relations between Georgia and Russia. Georgia will take part in the Winter Olympics in Sochi. This is my fundamental position and the general opinion of our political coalition", said Ivanishvili.
The possibility of boycotting the Sochi Olympics by Georgia has repeatedly voiced by the previous authorities. The reason was the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, that are considered by the Georgian authorities as the occupied territories. As a historical example, proponents of this position call the boycott by the United States and other Western countries of the Olympics in Moscow in 1980, in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
"I believe that Georgia should not take part in the Olympic Games in Sochi", a political expert Nika Chitadze said in an interview to the GeorgiaTimes. "After all, the Olympics also contains political load, just like the Olympic Games in Moscow and Los Angeles in 1980 and 1984 respectively. That time, first the U.S. boycotted the Olympics in the Soviet Union, and then, on the contrary, the Soviet Union and the socialist countries did not go to the USA. I believe that Georgia should take a principled stand. The more that Russia, in my opinion, launched military operation against Georgia in 2008 in order to secure the Sochi Olympics".
- Ivanishvili's argument is the need to restore relations with Russia. And the art and sports are a good mean. Do you agree?
- I agree that we need to restore the relationship and to start a dialogue, but I think that it is inappropriate to send athletes to the Olympics in the current situation. I agree with the fact that the sports and the arts can be used to build links, but sending athletes to Sochi - this is a radical solution, which I do not welcome", Chitadze said.
After the victory of the coalition "Georgian Dream" led by Bidzina Ivanishvili in the parliamentary election in October 2012, the new government called the normalizing relations with Russia one of the main priorities of the foreign policy of the country. According to the analysts, Ivanishvili took a pragmatic decision, since in the case of boycotting the Olympics, Georgia would have found itself alone. None of the countries, including Georgia's strategic partners, has supported that decision.