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A year after in Georgia. Politicians: their vision of the future2009-08-07 23:08
Pain, bitterness and disappointment are the feelings one could sense in Tbilisi streets on hot August days of 2008. What has changed a year after? How has Georgia gone through this period? And what is next - a new war or a long and tough way to understanding? Georgia Times correspondent was trying to find answers to these questions in Tbilisi - asking politicians, public figures and common people (see "People Won't Shut Up") of this blessed and long-suffering land.
Eka Beselia, Movement For United Georgia Secretary General:
The first anniversary of the August event is a tragic date for us and of course we are full of emotions. The August war is Georgia's bitterest tragedy over last 15 years. The opposition believes the war could have been avoided if the leaders had used political and diplomatic mechanisms. We accuse both Russian and Georgian leaders. Georgia has been greatly affected. Now we have refugees, we lost our lands that had been under our control before the August events - nearly 100 villages altogether. These are catastrophic results for Georgia. Lots of deaths - both civilian and military. In spite of all this no one is the winner here: neither Georgia, nor Russia.
Now we have to find a way to restart dialogue with Abkhazians and Ossetians. We will always consider these territories part of our land. The main thing is to make Abkhazians and Ossetians believe that repetition of the August events is impossible. Current provocations on borders don't mean new hostilities. In my opinion both sides are trying to show to the world community that a year ago they were the only right side.
Now Georgia is rebuilding its armed forces. It doesn't mean we are preparing a war. Georgia has not enough strength to make war with Russia, and Georgia has learned last August's lesson well. As for Georgian-Russian relations I believe sooner or later they'll be patched up. A short time ago Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the relations between nations would be settled as politicians come and go and nations remain. I believe this will surely happen. Not with Saakashvili regime. But after constitutional change of power, when Georgians are given a choice without looking back at Russia or the States then relations between Georgia and Russia will be settled, no doubt.
Everyone in Georgia understands necessity of negotiations with Russia. But politicians have too many hard feelings to each other. Surely the president must think of people and not of his personal grievances - otherwise he must step down.