Is the grandmaster going to play into Saakashvili’s hands?16.03.2010 | 22:27
The Georgian opposition is trying to set up a dialogue with Moscow. Meanwhile, the Russian critics from the Kremlin started frequenting Tbilisi. It is notable that the marginal opposition was the first to rush to "make friends" with the Georgian authorities. Since the beginning of the war with South Ossetia, Mikhail Saakashvili has been supported by former advisor to the Russian president and his current vehement opponent Andrey Illarionov. He was joined by Oleg Pamphilov, Yulia Latynina, Vladimir Bukovskiy and Valeria Novodvorskaya. Besides, leader of the United Civil Front Garry Kasparov arrived in Georgia yesterday. What for?
The famous native of Baku has been absent from Georgia for 30 years and now, all of a sudden, at the time of the continuing Russian-Georgian confrontation, after Russia's "pseudo-attack" at Tbilisi he decided to come to the country.
The official reason of Garry Kimovitch's visit to Tbilisi is the 50th anniversary of his colleague and friend, chess-player Zurab Azmajparashvili. As was explained to GeorgiaTimes by the United Civil Front press service, it was a private visit implying no meetings with the official persons. It was said that if any Georgian politicians came to the party it would be a mere coincidence.
However, the media assert a contrary thing: Garry Kasparov is intended to meet with many representatives of the Georgian authorities including the president.
So far, the world chess champion has made only one statement in the airport of Tbilisi, and a rather neutral one: he said that Moscow has not got enough resources for a new intervention at the moment. However, one should not cherish hopes that Russia will leave Abkhazia and South Ossetia while Prime Minister Vladimir Putin maintains power.
He also underlined the frustration of the attempts of the Georgian opposition to settle the territorial problems of his country by way of negotiating with the Russian officials. "If the Georgian party starts a dialogue with Vladimir Putin it means that Tbilisi will have to make certain concessions", - Garry Kasparov warned.
The non-system oppositionist was among the rest of the Russian signatories of the "Do Not Appease Russia, Europe!" appeal published in February in the French Monde and the British Guardian. The authors were indignant at the western countries' cooperation with Russia ruled by the non-democratic authorities, from their point of view. They especially worried about the future of the First Caucasian TV channel which was removed by Gazprom from the French satellite, as well as about selling Mistral to Russia.
Naturally, Georgia is waiting for Kasparov to hail fierce criticism upon the Kremlin after that, as well as to support Saakashvili's regime, which, in the opinion of Novodvorskaya and her henchmen, is courageously resisting "the Russian tyrants".
Before that, in one of his interviews given to the Russian media, the grandmaster stated that "despite the lost war and the elements of the authoritarian rule, President Mikhail Saakashvili continues enjoying the support of the electors and the opposition's chances to come to power are not that great".
It is clear that the Georgian authorities are glad to be visited by a person like that. However, why would Kasparov need it? In the opinion of Director of Globalization and Social Movements Institute Boris Kagarlitskiy, the politician is simply maintaining the image of a "courageous fighter" with the authorities.
- Firstly, the visit means that for Garry Kimovitch, the external opinion of his activities is more important than the way they are taken inside the country. Secondly, if we take this action as practical policy it speaks for his simplicity and the lack of professionalism, although, it also speaks for his certain idealism. He does not care about the way the people will take it; he is realizing his own aspirations. In this sense, the actions of this person look heroic but they are heroic only from his own standpoint, so long as no one is going to punish him for these activities. His heroism is relative; it does not imply any risk and only demonstrates his disregard of the public opinion.
- What expectations may connect Garry Kasparov and the Georgian authorities?
- None, except their disfavor of the Russian authorities. However, if we take Georgia as an ideal of the country towards which the politician is leading us (the Russians - ed.) then we might find something in common. But I think no one will venture to announce it publicly, - the expert underlined in his interview to GeorgiaTimes.
Deputy Director General of Political Technologies Center Sergey Mikheev considers Kasparov's visit to Tbilisi and the possible negotiations with the Georgian authorities to be an attempt to assert himself as a radical.