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Meetings with Putin as gesture of benevolence

08.03.2010  |  21:44

5504.jpegGeorgia's second politician was greatly honored to be received in Moscow. Ex "Rose revolutionist" Nino Burdzhanadze met with United Russia leader, PM Vladimir Putin. The talks were held behind closed doors rousing hopes in the guest's heart that Russian-Georgian confrontation could be overcome. GeorgiaTimes' interlocutors in Tbilisi and Moscow discuss the meaning of Kremlin's cooperation with Georgian opposition.


The meeting between United Russia chairman Vladimir Putin and Nino Burdzhanadze, leader of Democratic Movement - United Georgia was even more "intimate" than December's talks with Movement for Fair Georgia leader Zurab Nogaideli. Maybe because of similar names or due to personal sympathy at the beginning of the meeting the PM emphasized he was glad to see his guest since he had known her for a long time and hadn't seen her ages.

Putin noted with regret that Moscow "had failed to build relations" with people from Georgian government. Apparently unlike them Burdzhanadze is viewed as a politician able to negotiate.

After the meeting Nino Anzorovna underscored her policies had not become pro-Russian but taking into account interests of the neighboring superstate is for Georgia's benefit. "Americans as well as Europeans, the Chinese and Australians reckon with Russia", - she remarked in an interview with Radio Svoboda.

Judging by her words the main result of the visit was confidence that Russia could be dealt with. "What I heard at the meetings I had in Moscow was absence of dead-end topics and the need to seek ways on a mutually beneficial and mutually respectful basis. I believe it's very important", - she remarked.

Georgia was nervous about her trip. Certainly Nogaideli who performed this exploit earlier approved of her act. Meanwhile the Labor party stated they didn't mind having a talk with Russian authorities too. Unlike Burdzhanadze they would necessarily bring up deoccupation issue. The parliamentary majority condemned Burdzhanadze promising her failure at any elections since "traitors of motherland" are not popular.

Alexander Rondeli, president of Georgian Foundation of Strategic and International Studies shares this negative opinion on contacts with Russia.

When a country is in confrontation after the war, where nothing is settled yet the country must speak with one voice - the voice of government. Kremlin's attempts to get rid of this unwanted government are no good to us, - he stated in an interview with GeorgiaTimes. - As for the attempts of certain political - I wouldn't say corpses - politicians that have no support in the country, that go bowing to the tsar and complain asking for help to improve their situation - they are perceived negatively. Certainly Russia and Georgia won't walk away from each other. Russia is a constant we have and we will always have. Surely relations must be developed, surely there must be friendship, and relations must be normal, but with mutual respect. Unfortunately, it isn't so now. So Burdzhanadze's visit is her personal affair. Speaking in the old-time style this is treason, and speaking democratically this is an attempt to improve one's political standing.

What do you think is the sense of Moscow negotiations with the opposition?

- Thus Russia is trying to show to the West we are on normal terms and there are no problems. Secondly, which is also important, this is an attempt to get rid of Georgia's current government that doesn't want to surrender to Moscow.

- Why do you think the cooperation started with Nogaideli - a politician without a future?

- Nogaideli had nothing to lose so he risked it all. For Moscow he's handy: he is an ex PM, he knows everyone and everything. It's so good to have such a person for free or for some very small amount. This is a nice fish. Burdzhanadze is worse. Probably she speaks better but both of them are not supported by people here. Maybe after Putin "blessed" them they will get more popular? They hope they will.

- Does that mean that Kremlin is now staking on Burdzhanadze and will support her at 2013 election?

- I don' know, it's hard to say now. They will stake on everyone whom they consider suitable to unseat Saakashvili.

- Will there be casting?

 - I don't think everyone should be received. These ones are well-known, the rest are simply odious. That won't add points to Kremlin.

- Will the Laborists who want to go to Moscow be received?

I don't know. I wouldn't receive them. Their stable marginal electorate is 7-8%, not more. Each nation has such examples: they are against everything, they always feel bad, and everyone around them is to blame. Irakli Alasania was invited to Russia by the Georgian diaspora. Will he be brave enough to come?

I don't think he will, since his present condition is not that solid to take such decisions. He's a hesitating type and a very inexperienced politician; it's hard to make predictions about him.


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