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Speaking different languages – so far2009-12-11 17:41
Despite new hopes it seems Russia's relations with its Transcaucasian neighbor - Georgia - will not change significantly though Russian leaders declare their readiness to make advances. President Medvedev understandingly listened to the questions of a Georgian journalist on possibility to resume air communication between the countries, slacken visa regime and return Georgian produce onto Russian market.
Calling two of the three issues "household" the Russian leader said that "the Georgian produce must be sold and accepted on the Russian market just like any other" and restoration of air communication is possible - there's nothing fantastic about it. The visa issue is more complicated. It's a political issue and it can't be solved quickly given the lack of diplomatic relations between two countries.
Remarkably, PR Vladimir Putin spoke about the possibility to normalize relations with the neighboring state at Eugeny Primakov's jubilee not long ago.
How real are these prospects?
Politologists remark it's not the time to discuss Russia's real rapprochement with Georgia yet. Dmitry Medvedev's statement, the experts believe, is destined to the people of Georgia first of all.
And though Mr. Saakashvili immediately announced Georgia's readiness to resume air communication with Russia and to open Upper Lars checkpoint via his spokesperson Manana Mandzhgaladze, such a reaction must be treated with more cautiousness. Since speaking at the European People's Party congress in Bonne the Georgian president in his typical manner reiterated that "a large part of our territory remains illegally occupied by Russia".
What normalization of relation can there be when Mr. Saakashvili wringing his hands in despair tries to convince the European audience that "they (Russia) want to destroy our country's young democracy with their aggression and provocations".
It is not incidental that the Georgian president's spokesperson couldn't but pin-prick Russia reproducing her patron's reaction to Medvedev's statement.
"It was Russia that introduced limitations: at first it was the visa regime that was cancelled afterwards. The president states the Russian produce is shipped to Georgia without restraints, and no embargo is in store for it, Russian citizens are free to come to Georgia unless they are connected with special services", - Manana Mandzhagaladze highlighted.