Tour to Russia Gave Hope30.04.2010 | 01:29
The Georgian oppositionists Kakha Kukava and Koba Davitashvili have returned from Russia, happy with their trip. They managed to sincerely discuss the complicated issues of the relations between Russia and Georgia, including the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As Davitashvili said to GeorgiaTimes, the Russian politicians' views give hope to Georgians.
The political tourists, as the leaders of the People's Party and Conservative Party were ironically called by the Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Gigi Tsereteli, are happy with their trip. They declared this immediately after having arrived in the Tbilisi Airport last night.
In Russia Kukava and Davitashvili spent a few days, participating in various events and holding several important meetings.
They were invited by the Head of the Global Congress of the Georgian Peoples, the St. Petersburg businessman Alexander Ebralidze. He organized the St. Petersburg forum of Georgian diasporas that was visited by 270 Georgians from various countries, including the USA, Italy, Germany, Greece, Syria, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia.
However, the official Tbilisi does not favour the congress as last year Ebralidze expressed his desire to become the next Georgian President, despite the fact that he is not a Georgian citizen and is not even resident in the republic. The Georgian authorities considered him a protégé of the Russian special services. That is why the opening of the office of this organization in Tbilisi was accompanied by a scandal with a ban on the entry of Russian participants, even those who had nothing to do with politics.
Therefore, the St. Petersburg forum was perceived by Tbilisi in a distinctly negative manner, and the trip of Kakha Kukava and Koba Davitashvili was called treachery and desire to play according to Russian rules.
However, at the recent convention Ebralidze did not speak on presidency any more but formulated some objectives sometimes contradicting the official Russian position: the reinstatement of the territorial integrity of Georgia, the guarantees of the republic sovereignty, good neighbourliness with Russia, «well-balanced relations with the USA», economic stability, rightful membership in the European Union.
Beside Ebralidze, the Georgian politicians were received by the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexey Pavlovsky and the leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The latter explained why Russians are unfriendly to Georgia now. «Why did we come down on the side of Abkhazians and Ossetians? Because they say only good things about Russia. Therefore, whether we want it or not, the public opinion tends to favour them. If Tbilisi spoke well with Russia, on Russians, on the Russian Army, there would not be any problems», said the straightforward Russian deputy.
Kakha Kukava, despite such strongly-worded revelations of Zhirinovsky, remained satisfied with that meeting. And, contrary to the information of the Georgian mass media, according to the Georgian oppositionist, they and Vladimir Volfovich shook hands after all.
The guests also took part in a session of the Public Chamber where the interethnic relations were discussed and met the Head of the Eurasian Youth Union Pavel Kanishchev and the Deputy Head of the Center of Conservative Research Mikhail Tyurenkov at the sociologic faculty of the Moscow State University named after Lomonosov.
GeorgiaTimes asked Koba Davitashvili to comment on the results of their visit to Russia.
- Which objectives have been achieved and which not?
- The main target was to find a common language and to start a dialog with the public and with the Russian Parliamentary opposition. This was achieved, which is quite good for the first attempt. We did not set us the challenge to solve any issues. We wanted to start a dialog and we are happy with our trip. The meetings took place in a business-friendly atmosphere.
- Have you heard anything principally new from the Russian politicians? What did they answer regarding the reinstatement of the territorial integrity of Georgia?
- They understand that there is not a single politicians in Georgia, not even a simple citizen that would not like to restore their country. But this is not even a question of territorial integrity but of the Georgian integrity in general. First of all we must return the trust of Abkhazians and Ossetians and start a dialog with them. Russia, as a minimum, should not prevent it, and as a maximum should help us. And I can see that even the most radical Russian politicians favour such a direct dialog.
- Kakha Kukava evaluated your meeting with Zhirinovsky as quite useful. And what do you think?