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Georgia is not slamming the door when quitting CIS2009-08-18 18:36
Tomorrow, one flag above the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Executive Committee in Minsk will be missing. There will be no ceremony of parting with Georgia. One can see that the whole year Tbilisi has been growing apart from CIS, confirming its desire to quit the Commonwealth time after time. However, Georgia is not slamming the door and is intended to maintain the major part of bilateral agreements. De jure it is leaving, while de facto it stays.
Tomorrow, on August 18, Georgia is going to quit CIS. According to the Georgian TV channels, all the legal procedures on the country's withdrawal from the Commonwealth are completed. Mikhail Saakashvili announced his decision on August 12, 2008, immediately after the August war failure.
Last August, Russia did not keep in the shadow watching the events in South Ossetia, which was to be subdued by the official Tbilisi with the help of firing. Russian troops came to the rescue of the Ossetian militiamen and Russian peacemakers, who tried to repel the Georgian attack. The aggressor retired, letting the Russian troops several kilometers inside Georgia almost without any fight. Frustrated by the failure, the president of Georgia accused Russia of all his mishaps and decided to sever connections with it. That was the purpose of announcing Georgia's withdrawal from CIS.
In two days, on August 14, the "pocket" parliament of Georgia adopted the president's decision, and on August 18, MFA notified the CIS Executive Committee of it. "Georgia's withdrawal from CIS is purely demonstrative", Deputy Director of the CIS Countries Institute Vladimir Zharikhin commented upon the decision in his interview to IA OSinform. According to him, CIS has never been a political organization. "This is a regional organization, and a country's withdrawal from it is, in fact, an attempt to change its geographic position, which is quite meaningless".
It was Georgia's permanent representative in CIS Zurab Khonelidze that tried to bring Georgia back to the Commonwealth in March. According to him, staying with the organization, Tbilisi could demand from Moscow to deny its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Khonelidze regarded the government's decision as an emotional gesture. Belarusian representative on relations with CIS Igor Karpenko also referred to this step as to an "imprudent" one. "One should be friends with his close neighbors. I think it is irresponsible to place one's stake on America. Russia is a good neighbor and a large sales market", - the delegate told Interfax in July.