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Field and football for Saakashvili’s agents09.07.2010 | 19:12
Leader of Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Nogaideli decided to make a pause in his intercourse with Moscow so as to watch the realization of Saakashvili's statement about his being ready for a dialogue with Russia. At the same time, the oppositionist believes that the president is conducting secret negotiations with the Kremlin despite the fact that the Georgian leader is announced persona non grata in Moscow. The events were discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with one of the leaders of Movement for Fair Georgia Petre Mamradze, as well as with director general of National Strategy Council Valeriy Khomyakov.
Radically-minded Georgian oppositionists have more than once stated that Mikhail Saakashvili is promoting a "pro-Russian" line in the republic. They say he has yielded part of the territory and sells objects of national importance to Moscow, and etc. It is interesting, however, that now Zurab Nogaideli also mentions Mikhail Nikolaevitch's contacts with Moscow.
One may only try to guess whom the leader of Movement for Fair Georgia meant when speaking about Saakashvili's emissaries. As is known, besides Nogaideli, it was leader of Democratic Movement - United Georgia Nino Burdzhanadze, head of The People's Party Koba Davitashvili and one of the key persons of National Council Kakha Kukava who visited Moscow after the break of diplomatic relations between the two states. Did Zurab Nogaideli mean them?
Petre Mamradze: I cannot name Saakashvili's agents in Russia but I rule out the possibility that they are Burdzhanadze, Davitashvili and Kukava. These are the powers of another range. We are talking about the people that are close to Saakashvili and have steady connections in Moscow. I would like to witness that after the August 2008 military adventure of Saakashvili's Tbilisi was filled with rumors of such contacts being realized. They mentioned Mikhail Saakashvili's uncle who worked once in UN under Russian allowance and head of Georgian MIA Vano Merabishvili who allegedly retained contact with his Russian colleagues.
I think it possible that Nogaideli knows a lot more than me with his regular contacts with Russian authorities. However, I am not the one to reveal anything personal. We are pressing upon the idea that having committed many mistakes as president, Saakashvili must start negotiations with Russia without any ultimatums. So far, he is just making tragicomic statements of his readiness for a dialogue with Russia without preliminary concessions BUT on condition of "de-occupation", and so on. Saakasvhili's position probably means that he is ready to speak of Russia as of an "occupant" without preconditions. I think Saakashvili mentioned negotiations with Moscow just to please Hillary Clinton during her visit, so long as the White House is constantly pressing upon Georgia to initiate a dialogue with Russia.
Will the Georgian president be able to take any real steps, or is it just one of his loud statements?
I know Saakashvili very well; we worked together once. I cannot imagine a person of such mentality, a slave of his spirits, making any constructive and positive steps. We assert that the oppositional party should not mend relationship between Georgian and Russia; that is up to the government. We may only accelerate the process and press a bit upon the current regime but further steps are up to Saakashvili. One needs the Georgian government's strong will and unambiguous determination but we give Saakashvili a chance to reveal himself.
You said the president of Georgia is a slave of his own spirits and he should not be expected to take any reasonable decisions. Why then Nogaideli declared a pause in his relationship with Moscow?
The opposition has many times observed that it is us who prevent the contacts. So, as we say in Georgia, here is the field and football for you.
Opinion of Russian expert Valeriy Khomyakov:
Does Nogaideli's statement about Saakashvili's negotiations with Russia have any grounds?
One cannot leave out the possibility of Saakashvili's contacts with Moscow. The Georgian president has found himself in a tough situation. On one hand, he has lost part of the territory, while on the other hand, the United States are not much pleased with him either. The more so, as the "reload" has been announced.