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Eastern tale of “Mikheil the Unifier”2010-07-19 16:14
"I think that no matter diversity of our countries and differences in our problems, the dialogue within Eastern Partnership as the first stage of our common integration into EU is very important, - Saakashvili emphasized. - When the states get united, when a unique platform - a unique policy - is set up it will be very hard for Russia to use blackmail based on "divide et impera" principle.
There was nothing else to be expected from Mishiko speaking about Russia. In his logic "the great and horrible northern occupant" is constantly throwing sand in the wheels of Georgia's young democracy. But praising Eastern Partnership and scolding CIS Saakashvili doesn't take into account the fact that Georgia seceded from the group of six participants of the "partnership" that are still interested in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The point is that the CIS is a way out to the markets of closest neighbors. It is understood that post-Soviet republics will never manage to enter European, Asian or North American markets while trading between each other is convenient and gainful. Unfortunately, Tbilisi was given hostage to its own ambitions and emotions. Withdrawing from the CIS Georgians cut exports off with their hands. Feverish attempts to find new channels have not been successful yet.
Besides, referring to the Eastern Partnership as another instrument to fence off Russia Saakashvili forgets that Europe's current attitude to the initiative is not so positive as it used to be two years ago. Let's recall the history - how it all began.
In December 2008 at a session the European Commission adopted the Eastern Partnership scheme toward 27 EU states plus six former Soviet republics - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine. Initially the idea was that the "partnership" will help the six states above get integrated into Europe's economy implying cancellation of visa regimes and creation of free-trade zones. In addition, Brussels promised to allocate the total of EUR 600 mln to these six states before 2013.