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Political PR – Bakradze style2009-03-23 16:55
Georgia wants relations on an equal footing with Russia, but just "not at the expense of its own integrity". The speaker of the Georgian parliament, David Bakradze, said this and much more on 19th March.
"Tbilisi has an interest in developing economic and cultural links with Russia, and cooperation in the security sphere," the newspaper VZGLYAD (View) quotes Bakradze's speech to students from Tbilisi University. "We can cooperate as two states enjoying equal rights with the aim of guaranteeing security in the Caucasus." Meanwhile, he stressed that relations with Russia are impossible without the restoring of Georgia's territorial integrity. In Bakradze's opinion, the reason for the confrontation between Moscow and Tbilisi was, apparently, "Russia's fundamental interest in Georgia having a leadership which carries out and takes into account Russia's interests at the expense of its own statehood".
Mr. Bakradze seems to be having a few problems with his logic. First, he talks about cooperation with Russia in order to guarantee security in the Caucasus. And then he suddenly accuses it of infringing upon Georgian statehood. The speaker of the Georgian parliament has obviously forgotten that Russian troops are in Abkhazia and South Ossetia precisely in order to maintain stability in the region and at the request of the republics themselves.
David Bakradze then continued to spout slogans taken straight from the Tbilisi agitation and propaganda unit's handbook. "Georgia should be a NATO member and should be united. If we think this, we will say so, irrespective of whether anyone in the Kremlin likes it or not," Rosbalt quotes him as saying.
Admittedly, it is unclear how the Kremlin, joining the North Atlantic alliance and "unity" are connected. In August last year, Saakashvili's regime itself delivered a crushing blow to the prospects for the "unity" which is being bemoaned now. As far as slogans like "Georgia should be in NATO" are concerned, how many of these have the Georgian people heard already?! And whom would this entry actually benefit? Of course, apart from Saakashvili and his team. After all, NATO itself has shelved any thoughts of accepting Georgia. It's now far more important for the bloc to improve relations with Russia than accept unstable Georgia, which is being torn apart by internal conflicts, into its ranks.