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“Dangerously” experienced American supervisor arrived in the Caucasus15.09.2009 | 22:28
Tina S. Kaidanow arrived in Georgia instead of U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza. A quiet but decisive short-haired woman with a manlike surname of Kaidanow will now promote the USA interests in the Caucasus. Her appointment looks especially interesting in the context of her previous work in the American mission in Kosovo where she upheld independence of the region from the Serbian government.
Immediately on arriving in Tbilisi, Tina Kaidanow had a meeting with Head of the Georgian MFA Grigol Vashadze and State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili. As Rosbalt reported with reference to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Alexander Nalbandov, it was purely an informative session. The parties slightly touched upon the implementation of the Georgian-American Strategic Partnership Charter and other documents on bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the international organizations. The only issue to be thoroughly discussed was the agenda of another round of negotiations in Geneva on the safety in the Caucasus, which are going to be held on September 17.
Within the two days that Kaidanow is going to spend in the Georgian capital she is planning to meet with all the domestic political players of the country. The trip agenda also includes negotiations with both the parliamentary and radical opposition.
The forty-minute talk with leader of Alliance for Georgia Irakliy Alasania took place on the first day of the visit. According to GHN, the former permanent representative to UN shared with Kaidanow his ideas concerning the changes in the electoral environment and Election Code. "I also spoke about the matters of media and regional safety, as well as about the threats set up against Georgia's territorial integrity", - Alasania stated after the meeting. He said that among other topics they discussed the situation in the conflict regions. The new U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary confirmed to the oppositional leader that the democratic reforms will have the priority in bilateral relationship between Tbilisi and Washington.
After that, according to the press-service of Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Tina Kaidanow met with the party leader Nino Burjanadze in Tbilisi Marriott hotel. The guest did not provide any comments, while the former Speaker of Parliament stated that the recently appointed American has got enough information on political situation in Georgia. The two women discussed the matters of democratic development. "I said that instead of the promised democratic waves, there have been no significant changes regarding democracy in Georgia. I hope the USA demand the fulfillment of these promises from the Georgian government", - Nino Burjanadze stated.
Kaidanow replaced Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Bryza who will act now as the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Head of MFA Nalbandov has spoken of Tina as of "an experienced diplomat who is well aware of the problems in our region and has got deep knowledge of the problems related to conflicts". Some experts characterize her as "a quiet but very efficient politician".
Meanwhile, it is her professional skill that arouses interest in the context of the totally opposing tasks of her new office. Before that, Tina Kaidanow was the first U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo; earlier, she had occupied the post of Deputy Head of the American mission in Sarajevo for three years. Naturally, her primary task was to help Kosovo uphold independence from Serbia. Now, helping Georgia to regain Abkhazia and South Ossetia, she will have to struggle against separatism and turn a blind eye to the facts of genocide against the Ossetians and the oppression of the Abkhazians.
Besides, she has automatically accepted Bryza's responsibilities of chairmanship in the Minsk group for Karabakh conflict settlement; some people in Azerbaijan fear that Tina might support the Armenian separatists. "Kaidanow has got due experience in working in a region like this where the international community decided that one has to act against the international rules to settle the problems related to the non-recognized states", - Director of Institute of Caucasus Alexander Iskandaryan mentioned once.
However, head of the CIS Problems Information Analysis Center of Moscow State University, editor-in-chief of information portal Vesti Kavkaza (News of the Caucasus) Alexey Vlasov in his interview with The First News stated that one should not exaggerate Kaidanow's sympathy with the oppressed national minorities. "The situation and the plans in the Balkans, in Kosovo differ from the situation in the South Caucasus and from the Karabakh problem. In each case, Tina is supposed to implement the American plan with due account for the specifics of the situation. I do not think that it is time to stick any labels on Kaidanow; one should at least wait for her to take first steps in a new office to make any conclusions", - political expert said. According to him, "one thing is certain: the basic line of the American policy is the limitation of the role and mediation of European Union and Russia in geopolitical matters and conflicts in Europe, in the Balkans and in South Caucasus".