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Trusting Russia12.05.2010 | 09:53
Georgian opposition figures Nino Burdzhanadze and Zurab Nogaideli were leaving Moscow in different direction: she - to Europe, he - back home, after the stone-laying ceremony on the site of the monument to Georgian warriors and the parade in Red Square both full of faith that Russia wants to make it up with Georgia. But still it's the non-handshake Mikheil Saakashvili ruling the country, so all talks are about future.
Leader of For United Georgia and For Fair Georgia movements took part in a symbolic stone-laying ceremony on the foundation of the monument to Georgian warriors that died in the years of the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union. This will be a close copy of the memorial exploded by the Georgian authorities in Kutaisi on pretext of clearing the site for a new parliament building.
The monument is supposed to become a new symbol of Russian-Georgian friendship reminding of common victory and centuries-long history that Georgia's current leaders are trying to reshape turning Russia into an enemy.
As Russian PM Vladimir Putin said in the run-up to Victory Day the country's leaders are ready to "dialogue with all constructive political forces of Georgia that want true partnership with Russia, and we shall revive this partnership".
In a special pre-holiday address to Georgian people President Dmitry Medvedev also remarked that "all attempts to destroy Russian-Georgian friendship are doomed to failure".
Leaving Moscow the leaders shared their impressions to the press. Nino Burdzhanadze believes in Russian leaders' willingness to revive relations with due respect for mutual interests. She continues to stick to the idea of Georgia's NATO accession emphasizing that the objective won't be achieved this decade. She also promised to continue to press for early presidential election since the man who fails to fulfill his promises and who lost 20% of the country's territories thus closing the door to NATO has no right to be president.
Nogaideli's statement sounded like a prophecy: there will come a day when Saakashvili will leave and Georgian troops will be parading together with Russian army in Red Square.
Petre Mamradze, a Movement for Fair Georgia activist was more detailed about the results of the party leader's trip in his interview with GeorgiaTimes.
- Traditional topics are still there: restoration of economic ties, resumption of regular (not sporadic like several times before) transport communication. And certainly there is the return of refugees, particularly the last flow in the aftermath to Saakashvili's adventure in 2008. They must be returned to the places of their permanent residence - to Kodory gorge and Akhalgori district. That was one of the subjects. He also made a statement that when Saakashvili resigns, the restoration of Georgia's unity can be discussed anew. I would like to highlight here that unity means having Abkhazians and Ossetians with us (restoring their trust, their love and friendship). If they want they will come back to the united state together with us.
- Has there been any progress in solving these issues: transport problems, return of Georgian produce, return of refugees? Are there any specific arrangements?
- I can't report on specific results: we are an opposition, not a pro-governmental party. That is why we are working as a catalytic agent spurring certain moves and pushing the government through in the right direction. Secondly, it was Russia's unilateral decision to stop all relations - transport and economic after Saakashvili's notorious provocation and insults against Russia. Russia can unilaterally declare resumption. Then Saakashvili regime will be cornered. That is what we are aiming at.
- Georgian media reported that Russia promises Nogaideli to help make it up with Abkhazians and Ossetians, and that the country's unification is real. But Russia stated it would not go back on recognition of these regions...
- You know, this can't be considered in a short-term schedule after things Saakashvili did, after the war in August 2008. I can't justify the Russian side either. Now we are going through a phase when Russia is constructing military bases, both land and navy, in these regions, when Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia etc. But we can and we must work to have a prospect of reunification of the Georgian state on that basis. And when Konstantin Kosachev in his famous statement says repeatedly that if Georgians, Ossetians and Abkhazians agree to live in a united state - this is their own business and when Vladimir Putin says he would like to go back to pre-August 2008 situation and more than once did we hear statements by Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin about their readiness to set up normal relations with constructive political forces of Georgia - this all brings hope.
- Today trend.az (Azerbaijani news agency) has suggested that Zurab Nogaideli acts with the approval of Tbilisi authorities and might even take a position in Saakashvili's government. How would you comment on such developments?