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How Bagdasarov left Vashadze without Russian passport06.11.2009 | 13:58
A new diplomatic scandal has burst out between Georgia and Russia - a small scandal in fact. State Duma deputy Semen Bagdasarov suggested that Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze be deprived of Russian citizenship. He wasn't supported by his colleagues. But Vashadze himself who hadn't planned to renounce Russian citizenship angrily submitted his RF passport to President Dmitry Medvedev together with a request of citizenship renunciation. For whose benefit? This is what GeorgiaTimes correspondent was trying to find out in Moscow and Tbilisi.
Recently before the start of the Cabinet session Grigol Vashadze stated: "The Russian Duma is a little late. I have already submitted an application to the president of the Russian Federation with my Russian passport enclosed to it in the envelope thereby depleting my duties as a Russian subject", - Vashadze stated.
In human terms Vashadze can be understood. It's simply grudges since earlier the State Duma was considering his Russian citizenship denial. For a person believed to be a follower of the Soviet Foreign Policy school it is not a very nice fact, to put it mildly. However from the point of view of an experienced diplomat like Vashadze such an emotional move is strange.
He had heard numerous accusations because of his double citizenship - from nationalistically minded Georgians too - but kept saying he would not renounce his Russian citizenship.
Not once did Vashadze say what he repeated to Kommersant correspondent recently about keeping his Russian passport hoping that "current abnormal state of things in Russian-Georgian relations will improve...No matter whether I have a Russian passport in my pocket or not my Russia will always be with me and nobody can take it away from me".
Still he flared up and renounced it. Besides, the Duma didn't back the idea of depriving him of Russian citizenship. Though the issue that the Duma raised is not totally clear: have they solved all problems and freed people from their troubles to take care of Vashadze's citizenship?
The Duma reminded Semen Bagdasarov, the Fair Russia deputy that the RF Constitution does not have procedures on forced denial of Russian citizenship. These mechanisms are possible only in totalitarian regimes. This practice was used in the USSR. Today's Russia took the way of international law.
In a conversation with GeorgiaTimes correspondent Bagdasarov's party mate Alexander Chuyev remarked that to deprive Vashadze of his Russian citizenship was Bagdasarov's personal initiative he hadn't discussed at the party or faction level. "This is Bagdasarov's right but to come forward with such a question at a Duma session is not worthwhile", - the interlocutor remarked noting that emotions should not be taken to the level of politics.
During the Duma session Konstantin Kosachev chairing the State Duma Foreign Relations Committee rejected Bagdasarov's initiative too. "The head of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia is an official that embodies the position of the state. It's no good being categorical here and greaten the abyss between Russia and Georgia", - he explained.
The GeorgiaTimes correspondent managed to contact Mr. Bagdasarov who said: "I believe Vashadze did the right thing renouncing the Russian citizenship. He understood it was only the beginning. (By the way Vashadze himself in his interview with Kommersant correspondent made the following explanation of his act: "Since the issue was raised it is certainly not the last time. In this situation I took the only possible decision for me. This is not joy or moral satisfaction but the triumph of justice".
Semen Bagdasarov reminded of Mikheil Saakashvili's insulting words about Russia, of the August war he had started. "Vashadze is one of the closest members of President Mikheil Saakashvili's team. Taking advantage of double citizenship he travels freely around to form an anti-Russian charter", - our interlocutor said.
Yes, at times Mr. Vashadze is openly tough on Russia, and he really criticized a lot but does that mean that it's time to deny citizenship for non-patriotism? As VZGLYAD reports there was such an initiative but it didn't get underway. There is no law prohibiting double citizenship to high-ranking officials either.
And the question whether it's moral or amoral sounds like what is good and what is bad. Opinions differ here. Some prefer a "strong hand", others feel comfortable with liberalism. The law is unique for everyone. And the Russian deputy's emotions are really out of place here which actually was confirmed by the Duma's decision.
However GeorgiaTimes correspondent didn't find out why Vashadze needed the Russian passport since it's neither the tribute to the past nor the nostalgia over good old times. At all events Vashadze had been representing the USSR interests for a long time.
The idea that he could come to Russia if he fell out with Mikheil Nikolayevich doesn't sound convincing.
All other dissident Georgian politicians that because of the conflict with the authorities fled to Russia were all right with their Georgian passport only.