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Russian-Georgian party cooperation09.02.2010 | 23:37
Today, in Moscow, United Russia signed an agreement with the oppositional Movement for Fair Georgia headed by former Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli. The document implies exchanging the experience in political building. The agreement is expected to be followed by certain protocols, where real steps will be discussed within the current year. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed what kind of effect the document will produce in Tbilisi and Moscow, as well as the prospects of further cooperation, with the representatives of United Russia and Movement for Fair Georgia.
Right after the agreement was signed, Chairman of United Russia Supreme Council, Speaker of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov underlined that the document is not a spontaneous decision. "This is a sweat decision, - Gryzlov said. - We understand perfectly well that we have to look for healthy resources in Georgia". The speaker also added that the relations between the political alliances have been forming within the previous year. According to Gryzlov, the agreement implies initiating political interaction, which means starting bi-lateral consultations and informational exchange.
On his part, Zurab Nogaideli underlined the importance of the signed document. "We are perfectly aware that today, the relationship between Russia and Georgia are at an extremely low level, - United Russia's website is citing him. - That is why the agreement that was signed between our parties today is a very important historical document laying the foundation for tomorrow when Russian-Georgian relations will gradually improve and when the hostility will be replaced by friendship and partnership relations".
As to the prospects of such cooperation, before the agreement was signed, member of the United Russia fraction, Director of Political Research Institute Sergey Markov underlined the following in his interview to GeorgiaTimes:
"This is an absolutely necessary kind of cooperation. We need to establish normal relationship between Russia and Georgia that has been marred by the adventurers who have turned into military criminals like Saakashvili and Merabishvili. We have got a wonderful common past, so we are to overcome any difficulties. The main conflict between Moscow and Tbilisi is based upon Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Nevertheless, the events regarding these republics have acquired an irreversible character. However, there are other problems as well that present no conflict, such as the freedom of movement, joint economical and cultural projects, and joint progress towards European Union. They can be realized in the context of such cooperation. Russia will keep trying to restore the Russian-Georgian relationship, provided, however, that the interests of the Abkhaz and the Ossetians will not become the subject of bargaining, for these nations have got the right for their own future. As to Georgia, it should reconsider its attitude towards those republics. In the context of the non-conflict agenda, Tbilisi and Moscow can make a great stride forward, including not only the resumption of the visa movement regime but also the establishment of a visa free regime and forming a common economic area".
Now that the document is signed, both Moscow and Tbilisi showed agreement of opinion, having confirmed the necessity of the document.
Petre Mamradze, one of the leaders of Movement for Fair Georgia:
"My appraisal of the signing of the document is definitely positive. Let me remind you that we announced our program in autumn 2008, after the well-known military and political adventure realized by Saakashvili. The program stated that we should start a dialogue with Russia without any absurd preliminary ultimatums and mend the relationship. This was necessary for Georgia and for its national safety. Now we are realizing our plan step by step. The relationship between our countries is very important, although the agreement is rather standard. We are going to work in this area.
Speaking about the prospects, this kind of cooperation has got a clearly positive prospect. I am sure that the real interests of the Russian and Georgian people fully coincide. No matter in what way some of the disastrous politicians try to distort this fact, it still remains in force. The best proof is the absence of the anti-Russian attitude among the Georgian people. No matter how hard Saakashvili's ruling group tries to stir hysteria, they fail. We get full support during our meetings with the people from the Georgian regions. This is the basis for the prospect of cooperation that will let us establish personal contacts and develop further relationship with Russia. That is very important for us".
Eugeniy Gerasimov, member of the United Russia fraction, Chairman of the Moscow City Duma Commission for Culture and Mass Media:
I hope this document will do a lot of good to both the Georgian and the Russian people. I believe that any agreement between our countries is a sign of kindness, respect and mutual understanding.