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Saakashvili being asked to hide a bad gesture2009-05-12 17:38
Accession to Eastern Partnership made Mikheil Saakashvili so excited that he made a hurried statement on Georgia's integration into Europe. Before that he considered the exercises of NATO members and partners as a good sign that Georgia would soon join the Alliance. Naturally both facts were presented by the president as a three-finger combination in the direction of Russia. However the West did not appreciate this gesture.
President Mikheil Saakashvili announced in Prague that Georgia had joined the Eastern Partnership program aimed at rapprochement of ex-Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine with the European Union.
"We are becoming the EU's institutional part", - the head of the state emphasized as quoted by Civil Georgia. "In conditions when Georgia needs stability and development we become part of a new zone. We seceded from the CIS and now we are entering a wider market and a space of more well-being and opportunities. This is a common European space", - he added. No problem that in terms of geography Georgia is located in Asia: the border between parts of the world goes along the North Caucasus in Russia to the Black Sea. No problem that Eastern Partnership does not stipulate EU membership. The main thing is that Saakashvili sincerely tries to make Georgians familiar with European values, to find market channels for wine and citrus cultures, have visa free regime
so that Georgian "mafia bosses" and guest workers settled down in prosperous Europe.
Certainly elated Saakashvili was more delicate expressing his hopes in Prague: "That means in the near future we'll have a chance to launch free trade with the EU, i.e. we'll be able to export twice more our products than we do today. At the same time we will get hundreds of millions of aid apart from the money we receive. We hope this year the visa regime will be simplified. Georgians will have no barriers to enter the EU and travel throughout Europe, they won't have to queue in embassies and put up with constant humiliations. For us this is a considerable step forward". Considering that the requirements for citizens of Georgia willing to go to Europe are still much higher than for Russians the president's joy over the prospects offered by Eastern Partnership is understood. However Europe is reluctant to accept the flow of immigrants from the post-Soviet republics at the time of economic downturn and will hardly implement this provision soon. Besides "hundreds of millions of investments" to Georgia is just a PR-slogan until the world economy recovers.