Oh, what is the West going to say about Georgia!20.05.2009 | 14:46
The Georgians on both sides of the "cage town" walls in Tbilisi do their best to gain the West's approval. Having made a tour over Europe before starting the actions, the oppositionists assumed the role of fighters for democratic values. Permanently consulting the Western experts, Saakashvili's government wants to pose itself as a guarantor of stability before the Western partners. The situation reminds of a famous comedy by Griboedov with its question: "Oh, my God! What is princess Maria Aleksevna going to say!"
Oppositional leader Shalva Natelashvili has accused head of the Swedish MFA Karl Bildt, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terry Davis and head of the monitoring group of PACE Matias Ershi of "lobbying President Saakashvili". "Today, when practically the whole Georgia is struggling for Saakashvili's resignation, some of his foreign lobbyists keep using every possible method to maintain Saakashvili's regime. We are calling on Karl Bildt, Terry Davis and Matias Ershi to stop supporting Saakashvili, otherwise they may figure in history as authoritarian regime supporters and lobbyists", - he declared. The leader of Laborites did not say anything new. GeorgiaTimes has already mentioned the amount of monvey spent on Georgian PR in Europe and the USA. As to
"close cooperation" with the Western politicians, that is what both Saakashvili's supporters and oppositionists may be blamed for.
Thus, the day before, leader of the oppositional Way of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili went to "report" the outcome of negotiations with Saakashvili to the EU's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana in Brussels, Civil Georgia informs. "The EU member-countries and those people that I know must be aware of what is threatening Georgia", - she commented upon the purpose of her visit. Zurabishvili evidently puts no trust in the evidence provided by the EU Representative Piter Semnebi, who keeps traveling through the Caucasus. Among other diplomats, he has already mediated in the dialogue between the Georgian authorities and the opposition.
However, Zurabishvili, with her manners of a Minister of Foreign Affairs is no match to Natelashvili himself, a patriot to the backbone, who went to Europe to have a square talk with local politicians this February, prior to the protest actions. In March, he went across the water with the same purpose. In spring, the Georgian politicians' pilgrimage to the Western "democracy shrines" became a mass one. Some of the oppositionists, including leader of "indutrialists" Zurab Tkemaladze and head of the Freedom party Konstantin Gamsakhurdia arrived in Vienna at a conference called "Future perspectives of Georgia". The disgraced businessman Levan Pirveli and the former governor of the Kvemo-Kartli region Levan Mamaladze also "revealed" their presence at the conference, both of them being close to the former Head of Adzharia Aslan Abashidze. As the Georgian media supposed, the Georgians "offended" by Mikhail Nikolaevitch promised to provide financial assistance to the actions in favour of Saakashvili's resignation. Other participants of the today protest actions also paid a visit to Europe. Head of the United Georgia movement Nino Burjanadze has met with the former President of Poland Alexander Kvasnevski, Secretary General of OSCE Mark Perrin de Brishambo and President of Austria Heinz Fischer. In Germany, leaders of Conservative Party Zviad Dzidziguri and Kakha Kukava discussed the internal Georgian problems with the representatives of the German government.
Neither was President of Georgia idling away his time on the eve of the fatal April, 9. Mikhail Nikolaevitch managed to win the support from Washington and Brussels.
So, what have we got now? Judging by the lasting confrontation between the government and the opposition, the West is in favor of both the sides of the domestic conflict. Does it contribute to stability in Georgia? Hardly. It is notable that this fact was stressed upon by the former Georgian Abmassador to Russia Erosi Kitsmarishvili, who said: "Neither Washington, nor Brussels, nor Moscow should interfere in the Georgian domestic processes", though it should be mentioned that Kitsmarishvili is sure that the current events speak for the activity of the Georgian civil society. However, there are other opinions as well that seem to be closer to reality: Georgia has turned into the West's small coin in its geopolitical confrontation with Russia.
It is not by chance that the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, former Secretary of the Georgian Security Council Tedo Japaridze is blaming the West for the lack of attention to Georgia owing to the crisis. In an open letter published by Polit.ru Japaridze appeals "personally to the friends and colleagues in the USA and Europe, with whom I closely cooperated during the hard times at the beginning of 1990s, when Georgia was gaining its recognition, to turn my country into a solid and strong state". In the opinion of the author of this letter, President Saakashvili has "significantly contributed to the country renovation" but then he turned away from the path to democracy. The former diplomat is sure that the country is unable to get out of the dead-end situation without the Western protectors. And the USA "have already invested so much into the Georgian project", Tedo Japaridze underlines.