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Russian Leader In Tskhinvali, Tbilisi Perplexed14.07.2009 | 15:49
The Russian leader is in Tskhinvali, Tbilisi is perplexed. Today, quite unexpectedly for many, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a working visit to South Ossetia. At least this visit has never been announced anywhere by anybody. There Dmitry Anatolyevich announced some joint projects. In the end Tbilisi decided to comment on the Russian leader's visit to Tskhinvali.
If for politicians, experts and journalists the Russian President's visit to South Ossetia came as surprise, Tskhinvali was obviously waiting for the distinguished guest. According to some information agencies, the South Ossetian President Edward Kokoity and hundreds of capital citizens met the distinguished guest according to the local traditions: with a wooden bowl of wine, shashlyk and Ossetian pies.
According to Vesti, Dmitry Medvedev thanked Edward Kokoity for his invitation: «I would like to express my appreciation of your invitation to visit a new country, a new state: South Ossetia that arose as a result of hard dramatic events, supported by Russian people in its hour of need». The South Ossetian leader, in his turn, thanked the important guest for his visit, as well as for the support and recognition of the republic: «The South Ossetian people are grateful to you for your support, for the recognition of our state and, as the elders have already said today, we are obliged and grateful to you for the salvation of our small nation».
After all ceremonies the Presidents started discussing the existing problems. «We have a whole series of projects aimed at restoring the economic and social sphere of the republic. We will surely implement them as we have to do a lot», - emphasized the Russian leader. «You will show me what should be done and what is the first priority, what the effort should be focused on first of all», said Medvedev addressing Kokoity.
It is not a secret that the financing of a young republic would produce rumours on misapplication of funds. However, some checks have been made and some measures taken. Anyway, this issue has not been discussed today. The result of the two Presidents' conversation was Russia's intention to restore the South Ossetian economics. In addition, as Medvedev stressed, «it is required to continue our co-operation in the defense area and to sign the related agreements», said ITAR-TASS.
In Tbilisi Medvedev's flash visit to South Ossetia caused some perplexity, for some time they kept silent there. The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Gazeta.Ru that the ministry was likely not to react to Medvedev's arrival in Tskhinvali: «This is his personal business». But then their mood changed. Thus, the Vice Premier of Georgia, State Minister for Reintegration Temur Jakobashvili called the visit of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to South Ossetia a provocation.
«This looks more like a symbolic visit on the day of the Nabucco stipulation, which does no honour to the Russian Federation. What economic development can they speak of in a region (South Ossetia) where only 15 000 people remained after ethnic cleansing? This is an obvious provocation», RIA Novosti cites Jakobashvili. At the same time, according to Jakobashvili's version disseminated by Georgian mass media, Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Tskhinvali is a «response to the visit of the US President Barak Obama to Moscow and his statement on Georgia».
The Chairman of the Parliament Committee for External Contacts Akakiy Minashvili is also trying to grope the connection of Medvedev's visit to Tskhinvali with the consequences of the Russian President's conversation with his American colleague. «Obama clearly declared, - he said, - that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia must be protected». In his opinion, the Russian President did not manage to say anything to that, and today is trying to make up for «his own weakness».
A representative of the Christian Democratic Party of Georgia Levan Vepkhvadze, during a session of the Parliament Bureau, recommended that the authorities of the country should do adequate assessment and analysis of Russia's actions, informed GHN. «After Obama's meeting with Medvedev some inadequate hopes arose and some inadequate valuations were made. Today's fact confirms this. We are forgetting that Russia is a special phenomenon», said Vepkhvadze. According to the deputy's estimate, the Georgian President's declaration made during the session of the Georgian Security Council, while evaluating the Medvedev-Obama meeting, «became kind of a red rag for Russia».