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The Congress of Georgians: let us love each other2009-02-05 14:49
On January 3 Moscow hosted the Congress of Georgians in Russia welcoming representatives of the Diaspora from 32 regions of the Russian Federation. There were just few guests from Georgia. Here is the report of GeorgiaTimes observer who visited the congress.
The delegates kept from discussing political issues as was announced by the organizers beforehand. They spoke about vital problems of the Georgian Diaspora. The meeting's tonality was determined by the speech of Vladimir Spivakov, the conductor of Russia's National Philharmonic Orchestra saying: "Let us love each other" (by the way he was invited to become a member of the Union of Georgians).
Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev addressed the congress with a letter of welcome. This message was read out by the advisor to the President of Russia for Culture Mikhail Shvydkoy. Here is an extract:
"This meeting has a special meaning taking into account that the Russian-Georgian interstate relations are going through a serious challenge. We sincerely want to see Georgia as a stable, independent and truly democratic state".
The greeting from Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov was pronounced by his deputy, Lyudmila Shvetsova.
Georgian authorities refused to see their compatriots in Russia. As it was ironically commented by the head of the Union of Georgia Mikhail Khubutia "probably lack of communication prevented them from coming". The participants took the words correctly: communication implied both transmission media and transport.
It is appropriate to remind that official Tbilisi has taken the extraordinary congress of compatriots in Moscow with alarm saying that the Kremlin had a final objective to split the Georgian society and the authorities. The "court" press tried to make it clear in all possible ways that the authorities did not approve of the presence of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II as well as of the Georgian intellectuals at the meeting. Headlines were in best traditions of the Soviet propaganda: "Kremlin to hold "Congress of Georgians" in Moscow", "Kremlin is trying to set Georgian society against authorities" etc.
That is why only few people came to meet their compatriots: politicians, politologists and scientists. Russia's celebrated Georgians - Leo Bokeria, Zurab Sotkilava, Diana Gurtskaya... welcomed their compatriots and tried to find a way to the hearts of those who stayed in Georgia.
Diana Gurtskaya's sincerity and genuine emotions made the eyes wet.