Tusk-like hopes15.03.2010 | 09:59
One of these days, Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk has visited Georgia. He discussed the issues of cooperation of the two countries in the fields of economy, energy, transport and tourism with the republican government. GeorgiaTimes correspondent has discussed the common points between Tbilisi and Warsaw, as well as the prospects of the Georgian-Polish dialogue, with the Russian and Georgian political analysts.
Donald Tusk's visit to Tbilisi went on in a warm, almost friendly atmosphere. During the meeting with President Mikhail Saakashvili, the Polish Prime Minister once again confirmed Poland's support of all the Georgian initiatives and the reforms carried out in the country. "Georgia is very close to achieving the tasks it has set. Only those who manage to overcome all the difficulties are going to reach the finish. With all my heart I would like to congratulate you on the great success you have achieved", - Tusk is cited by Rosbalt. As was underlined by the prime minister, Georgia can teach us a lot; he remembered the republic's success in the field of economy and market relationship development. "In its ambitions, Georgia may count upon Poland which will
always support the struggle for democracy and territorial integrity", - he added.
On his part, Mikhail Saakashvili thanked Poland for supporting Georgia in the European structures and in the republic's aspiration after being integrated into the European Union, as the VZGLYAD newspaper reports. According to the president's statement, being a European Union member, Poland is actively supporting Tbilisi and is ready to provide assistance in streamlining the signing of a free trade agreement with EU, as well as the association agreement. The Georgian leader presented a Georgian national football team player's T-shirt to Donald Tusk with the following words: "Poland has been playing in one team with Georgia for many years and I hope our joint game in the big politics will be crowned with victory". Saakashvili also said that negotiations are already held on signing a direct flight connection agreement with Poland and expressed his assuredness that they are going to be successfully completed. Moreover, he said that the Georgian-Polish business forums are going to take place in summer in Georgia and in autumn in Poland.
What does Tusk's visit to the Georgian capital mean from the point of view of a dialogue between Tbilisi and Warsaw? This question was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with the Russian and Georgian political analysts.
Vladimir Anokhin, Vice President of Geopolitical Problems Academy
Tusk's visit to Georgia might be viewed from different standpoints. From political point of view, the most solid basis in the relationship between Warsaw and Tbilisi is the anti-Russian aspect. As to the economical aspect, it is difficult for me to say what exactly Georgia may offer Poland except wine and what Poland may offer Georgia. One is free to make any guessing: these countries have got neither high technologies, nor industry. It looks like in the course of Tusk's visit, there was a lot of talking about Poland's support of Georgia in the issues of joining NATO and Tbilisi's participation in the economical projects of European Union. However, involving a post-Soviet country into the European affairs is hardly going to bring any result, so long as Georgia has discredited itself in the eyes of the Europeans, while Poland is not an authority for the West. One may also say that now, when other political forces have taken power in Ukraine, Tbilisi is interested in a new arms procurement channel. That is why, there is the possibility that the Polish party is also discussing the issue. In future, Poland is going to try and push Georgia closer to Europe, although none of the countries present any real interest.
Maxim Grigoriev, director of the Democracy Problems Research Foundation
Taking the level of economical relationship between Poland and Georgia, we cannot say it is very high. Moreover, we cannot say that it is going to grow in the nearest time. Still, certain improvement in this aspect is possible, for instance, in the field of tourism, which, however, is not much. Thus, Tusk's visit can be rather characterized as political. Perhaps, at the politics level, the relationship between the two countries will remain the same and there will be no economical interaction at the new level. As far as I can remember, the Polish Prime Minister said that the support on the part of Poland will be proportional to Georgia's reputation. I believe that is an approach to be considered in Georgia's reputation as a European state. Thus, it would be groundless to talk about the definite support of all Tbilisi's and Saakashvili's personal movements. The fact that Poland is trying to attract attention in the context of the European community and is showing activity in the CIS space is very well known, so it would be too early to say that more serious steps are to follow.
Alexander Rondeli, President of the Georgian Foundation of Strategic and International Research.