Medvedev brings hope to the Georgians10.12.2009 | 09:57
After the last August events Russia and Georgia's relationship has been in the public eye of the world's community. Today, the Georgian-Russian relations were specifically stressed in the speech delivered by President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev at the 4th European-Asian media forum held in Moscow. Medvedev outlined further relationship with the neighboring country and caused exultation of the expatriate community representatives by saying that flight connection is going to be opened soon. However, Tbilisi's first reaction was far from friendly.
Indeed, who could think that today there will be so much talking about the Russian-Georgian relationship at the European-Asian media forum. Not only did political experts share their suppositions but the president of Russia outlined the prospects of the Georgian-Russian relationship.
Informational agencies immediately turned the forum quotations into hot news; TV viewers rejoiced.
"Medvedev promised to resume direct flight connection between Moscow and Tbilisi; they also said that visas might be cancelled", - I was told by a Georgian friend who rushed into the office, gasping either with surprise, or with hope.
It is true that most people in the room did not believe the rejoicing guest. Considering the information war and the sharp statements made to each other by heads of both countries, such thaw in relationship seems to be incredible: direct flight connection, cancellation of visas and return of the Georgian wines and Borjomi.
Let us consider the news step by step. As to visas, according to informational agencies, Dmitriy Medvedev expressed hope that they will be cancelled. "We are moving towards a visa-free space with the European Union. I hope it will happen in the nearest future. I hope this time will come both for Georgia and Russia", - Medvedev said during his speech made at the media forum arranged by RIA Novosti.
Millions of Georgians who have got relatives residing in Russia and have got no opportunity to see each other live on this hope.
Indeed, the Russian president said many words that sounded encouragingly, at least, for the manufacturers of the Georgian production who are unable to recover from losses incurred by Russian embargo.
When asked by a Georgian journalist when the Georgian products will return to the Russian market Medvedev answered that "there should be no problems here" if the products are "legally" imported.
Russia limited the import of the Georgian wine and mineral water in 2006, having referred to violation of sanitary standards. Tbilisi called it a revenge for political discrepancies and a pro-Western course of the country.
And now Medvedev spoke as a peacemaker. He underlined that despite the discrepancies one should remember the multi-century history connecting the Russian and the Georgian people. "We must secure all the positive things that have been achieved. We must not avoid common household issues", - he said.
The president expressed assuredness that "there are no specific obstacles" for direct flight connection and for the opening of Verkhniy Lars border checkpoint, as long as it "concerns the interests of common people". According to Medvedev, recent political relationship between Russia and Georgia turned out to be destroyed through no fault of RF.
"I have said may times that I am not going to have any contacts with the current president and some of the authorities. Our paths diverged and we estimate the events in a too different way. I believe that President Saakashvili bears direct legal responsibility for the committed crime; still, it does not mean that we should break all the rest aspects of out relationship. Our nations have got a multi-century friendship and a unique history", - the Russian leader said.
Incredible as it may seem, Tbilisi met the encouraging statement of the Russian leader about the prospects of the Georgian-Russian relationship at dagger point. They chose the way of ultimatums again.
Member of parliamentary majority Giorgi Gabashvili made a rather harsh comment upon the speech delivered by President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev and these comments literally killed the hopes of the common people.
"We are also interested in a real rapprochement between Georgia and Russia and the restoration of relationship; however, this is possible only after the de-occupation of Georgia. One cannot speak of any new relationship as long as the process of occupation of Georgia goes on", - Gabashvili stated, having underlined that mending relations between the countries might be considered only if the Russian government changes its attitude towards Georgia.
Such statements can hardly contribute to setting up a positive dialogue, not to mention the settlement of the interstate problems.
Well, who is interested in maintaining the current confrontation? The citizens of Russia and Georgia want peace and understanding. Businessmen want joint projects and artistic intelligentsia wants cooperation. Whose interests does the official Tbilisi defend by choosing confrontation and the language of ultimatums?