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Georgians don’t want discord with Russia2010-05-07 17:42
To be on friendly terms with Russia and be protected by NATO troops is what the majority of Georgian population wants as the public opinion poll carried out by US National Democratic Institute shows. In the minds of Georgians two things go together all right. Still, NATO is number one security threat as the Russian military doctrine stipulates which makes the Georgian dream unfeasible.
Only 7% of polled Georgians consider the country leadership's policies toward Russia absolutely acceptable. 25% are totally against them and 28% partially disagree.
Remarkably, the results were presented by US National Democratic Institute hardly interested in Georgia's love for Russia. The results of the opinion poll carried out in Georgia among 2,500 respondents were recently presented by Luis Navarro, director of the institute's branch in Tbilisi.
Georgia, whose adults remember the period of friendship of nations in Soviet times and who has almost a quarter of population residing in Russia, can't put up with the radically anti-Russian policies of the country leaders.
However, a curious detail springs up when questions are specified. Georgians call for establishment of transport communication and economic ties objecting that the opposition take part in reconciliation.
Thus, the opening of Kazbegi-Upper Lars checkpoint on the North Ossetia stretch of the Georgian-Russian border was approved by 62% of the respondents with only 11% of them believing it as unacceptable. They must be afraid of separatist activities of near-border Ossetians in Kazbegi district of Georgia.
Restoration of air communication between Georgia and Russia that was interrupted in the aftermath of August 2008 war is favored by 81% of the responding Georgians since almost every family has relatives in Russia that have to come to their motherland via Azerbaijan, Belarus or Armenia which increases travel expenses significantly. Only 4% or of the respondents don't want air communication at all.
Besides the dominant majority of Georgians - 62% - condemn talks initiated by Zurab Nogaideli, Georgia's ex PM, now Fair Georgia party leader, with Russian PM Vladimir Putin. Only 11% of the respondents approve of the oppositionist's contacts with Moscow.
Georgians were equally negative about the meeting between Nino Birdzhanadze, ex Speaker of parliament, now Democratic Movement - United Georgia leader, and Putin.