Vashadze casting a line19.05.2010 | 17:54
Tbilisi is perturbed by a statement made by Alexander Kvasnevsky, the Polish guest who said that Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze is ready for negotiations with Russia without ultimatums. At first an uneasy pause set in then came Deputy FM Nino Kalandadze's disavowal referring either to the words of Kvasnevsky or to her boss. What was it? Georgia Times asked politicians in Tbilisi and Moscow to explain if it was a reconnaissance attempt or just incidental frankness.
Recently Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated its former stance that Georgia will talk to Russia after Russia's revocation of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's recognition. As Nino Kalandadze stated at a traditional Monday's briefing, Moscow is to blame for all Georgian problems so it's up to Moscow to face the consequences.
The matter was clarified after a statement made by Petre Mamradze, a Movement for Fair Georgia member who wanted to hear an explanation of Vashadze's phrase pronounced in his conversations with Poland's ex president. Last weekend the latter referred to Vashadze making a TV statement that Georgia is ready to start negotiations with Russia without preliminary conditions.
"Vashadze told me today that Georgia is ready to start talks with Russia without any preconditions, any time and any place", - Alexander Kvasnevsky's words were quoted in Russian media. "I will tell that to European leaders, since it's a very serious signal for them. Europe might offer considerable help for these talks between Georgia and Russia to begin", - the Pole added.
According to Kalandadze she personally did not attend the meeting though she knows for sure that the Georgian side sticks to its position firmly. Talks with Russia are held in Geneva, where demands for deoccupation, recognition revocation, return of refugees etc. were put forward for the first time.
GeorgiaTimes asked Sergey Markov, a Russian deputy to comment on the situation. In his view Vashadze really thinks that talks without preconditions are necessary but top political leaders in government categorically oppose that because:
- Saakashvili, Merabishvili and Ugulava are people who committed crimes, who gave the order to start the war in South Ossetia and kill Russian peacekeepers. Any talks with them are out of question. That is why they are not interested to sort things out. Vashadze is not independent. Most probably he made numerous statements in various formats that relations with Russians must be restored and it's no use demanding anything now: simply resume communications, set up diplomatic relations, open embassies. But he has a supervisor who is a criminal who has Saakashvili as a supervisor forbidding any such actions. This is why we are misinformed, having controversial statements and so on... In present conditions Saakashvili can't step down since he will be charged with murders including the murder of ex PM Zhvania. It is rumored Saakashvili hit him on the temple with an ashtray. That is why he will hold on to the bitter end. That is why by all appearances he will be cast down. This will be a variation of what happened to Gamsakhurdia and Shevarnadze.
- But Shevarnadze was given guarantees, wasn't he?
- Because Shevarnadze did not kill anybody.
- Still in Georgia he is suspected of liquidating Gamsakhurdia. He has already been summoned to interrogations.
- Anyway there is no direct evidence confirming that. Shevarnadze was given guarantees in exchange for his promise not to issue the order on the use of force. Probably, on a day when disorders start, Saakashvili will also be given security guarantees in exchange for a safe withdrawal. Still, guarantees are given by the leaders that are unseated afterwards.
- At the briefing Georgian deputy FM stated that Ukraine would never agree to acknowledge Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Do you share this point of view?
- I almost totally agree. Never - no. Never sounds too tough. In the near future Ukraine will certainly not do that. Firstly, because Ukraine has problems in the regions that are not at all happy to be parts of Ukraine. So it's no good for Ukraine to foster separatism. Secondly, Ukraine must be on friendly terms with the West, particularly when relations with Russia have drastically improved. The West won't appreciate Ukraine's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And thirdly, Russia doesn't need recognition from Ukraine. Why would we? We may need Belarus's recognition for these republics to enter Russia-Belarus Union State. If everyone acknowledges Abkhazia it will be able to develop a multi-vector economy. Do we need that? Practically no one except us recognized them so they are almost ours.
-Thus, Georgian Deputy FM Nino Kalandadze is right saying that the opening of Abkhazia's diplomatic representation in Moscow has no international significance, isn't she?
-There is nothing extraordinary here. It was announced earlier, now technical implementation of this political decision is underway. And from this point of view this is not really important. Certainly the embassy will ensure more efficient cooperation between Russia and Abkhazia.