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Georgian-Russian dialogue about nothing2013-02-22 12:01
Georgia and Russia have decided not to discuss the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and to focus on other topics. But do they manage to agree? Analysts note that progress requires the desire of both parties. At the same time, both Moscow and Tbilisi had little room to maneuver. Is there a danger that the dialogue comes to a dead end?
The process of rapprochement between Russia and Georgia is barely plodding along. Despite the fact that the coalition "Georgian Dream" has called the normalization of relations with Russia one of the country's foreign policy priorities, the only concrete result is the beginning of the process for the return of Georgian agricultural products to the Russian market. So far, neither the restoration of the railway nor the abolition of the visa regime or restoration of diplomatic relations are on the agenda.
The basic contradiction as usual is the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. No, not the status, but any topic concerning these two republics. Patriarch of Georgia in Moscow - and here the protests in Tskhinval. The visit of the delegation of Georgian experts to Vladikavkaz - and again the protests in South Ossetia. South Ossetian Pparliament even offers to create a list like the "Magnitsky list", of the people who cooperate with Georgian regime, and to restrict these people from entering the country.
All of this, of course, complicates the negotiation process. Moscow, of course, has to consider such reaction to any contacts with Tbilisi and every time to prove the Ossetians and Abkhazians that Russia is not going to review position related to the independence of the republics. However, some politicians in Sukhum and Tskhinval are skeptical of such claims, and demand to stop contacts with Tbilisi. According to experts from Tskhinval, it is obvious that these people have a reason to doubt. And any contacts between Tbilisi and Moscow are increasing these concerns.
Georgian leadership has little room to maneuver. It's unreal to demand Russia to recall the decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It's also unlikely to restore diplomatic relations when you accuse Russia of occupying your territory. The only chance for contacts is to give an opportunity to develop economic relations, but in this case, you have to forget about the political side of the problem.