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What Russian and Georgian people want now clear in Krasnodar2009-10-12 23:10
Last weekend Krasnodar welcomed the first international forum "Russia-Georgia: what do people want?". NGO representatives, politicians and experts were trying to answer this question. And the answer was extremely plain: people want peace and well-being. GeorgiaTimes correspondent reports on the forum.
The guests were received by all rules of hospitality in cozy Pyramid hotel in Krasnodar. No matter who they were - Georgians or Russians. The main thing was the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding. Some people spoke Russian, others Georgian, some used facial expression and gestures to make up for the lack of words. But people understood each other perfectly. Without an interpreter.
Pity there is no such unanimity in politics - then our nations would have been spared from problems. But over the recent years there have been so many of them that the forum organizers gathered Russians, Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians to make it clear what these nations want. There were nearly 1,000 attendees in the room.
As the saying goes opinions differ. Vice President of Russian Center for Strategic Modeling Grigory Trofimchuk - the host - set the right tone to the Krasnodar forum: "confrontation between political elites must not affect relations between nations".
Vladimir Khomeriki, president of Russian-Georgian solidarity foundation remarked that the Georgian diaspora in Russia should first of all lay claims to the Georgian government. It's their fault that the Georgian population is in such a miserable state now.
Alexander Ebralidze, president of the World Congress of Peoples of Georgia, reiterated his intention to run as president of Georgia promising he would return refugees and restore Georgia's territorial integrity. He also noted the Georgian diaspora in Russia has no right to stay away from politics.
According to the head of Iveria, a Georgian community, and chairman of the forum steering committee Mindia Gulua (see photo above) it's important to preserve balance and not get carried away by politics. To start with the cultural ties between people of the two countries must be restored. His idea is to hold the next forum in the territory of Georgia - in Gori town.
Is it feasible? One never can tell. There were three persons in the Georgian delegation at the Krasnodar forum. Neither representatives of state structures, nor the opposition risked coming to Krasnodar. Before the forum Mindia Gulua was featured on TV as "a king of alcohol" and like Paata Burchuladze he was added to the traitor list.