Georgia has had an attack of “confederative” virus08.09.2010 | 17:58
Mikheil Saakashvili's rosy ideas about setting up a confederacy between Georgia and Azerbaijan are gradually fading away, just like any delusive myth should. The process is streamlined by the recent talks of Dmitriy Medvedev and Ilham Aliyev, which success is highly estimated in Russia. Now even the politicians who are fully subject to the Georgian president started expressing skepticism as to the realness of a union between Tbilisi and Baku.
As soon as Mikheil Saakashvili suggested setting up a confederacy between the two countries while receiving his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, the Georgian political establishment burst with rapturous comments. For instance, the words of Deputy Head of MFA Nino Kalandadze about Tbilisi and Baku being "technically" ready for setting up a solid union in the context of a confederacy have become a byword, and President of Association of Young Financial Experts and Businessmen Merab Dzhanishvili even made a statement that Armenia, Turkey and Iran will also be soon contaminated with the "confederative" virus.
It looks like representatives of Azerbaijani expat community in Georgia subject to forcible "Georgianization" just like the rest of national minorities in the country took special pleasure in the words about closeness and inseparability of the two peoples' interests. It's enough to remember the scandal with the massive closing of Azerbaijani schools and dismissal of thousands of teachers, Azerbaijani native-speakers. By the way, it was done under the slogan of preventing the people's migration from the near-border regions to Azerbaijan. Well, only Tbilisi seems to know how the two processes are related. Following the same distorted logics, one should expect the Georgian authorities to impose a ban on eating baklava in public places because of the lack of grain in the country.
While Tbilisi was singing hosanna to Mishiko's idea, Baku commented upon the Georgian president's statements with the barely concealed irony. Azerbaijani politicians are rather pragmatic and far more adequate in their estimations of another air castle named after M. Saakashvili. Even without taking into account Russia's negative attitude to a union with this tie-eater, Azerbaijan clearly understands that a confederacy with Georgia is doomed for failure. Affiliating with a country which is falling into the abyss of economic default and political isolation is the same as setting up a confederacy with Mars or Atlantis.
However, Georgian politicians are gradually leaving the rosy land of dreams where the Azerbaijani and Armenians forget about the contradictions in the issue of Nagorny Karabakh under the guidance of a "wise diplomat" Saakashvili with his abundant experience in settling international conflicts.
The principle herald of the new vector in the Georgian foreign policy was Chairman of Parliamentary Committee for European Integration David Darchiashvili. He attributed Saakashvili's "confederative" statements to the excessively metaphorical character of his ideas: "By mentioning a confederacy, the president artistically expressed the interests of the two nations closely connected with each other. The synonym would be a "brotherly union"; however, we all understand that these states cannot be brothers".
Well, it is quite possible that one day Georgia will develop a sufficient extent of freedom and democracy to call Saakashvili's idea by its true name - nonsense, bluff and provocation.
Head of Eurasia Institute Gulbaat Rtskhiladze shared his opinion about the real reasons that pushed the Georgian president towards such an ephemeral initiative with GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
- To your mind, could Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Baku in any way influence the attitude of the Georgian political elite to the idea of a confederacy with Azerbaijan? And what's your estimation of the feasibility of this project?
- It is quite possible that the Azerbaijani party had expected the issue to be raised during Dmitry Medvedev's visit. Eventually, these issues were discussed in the backstage on certain conditions and after that, the idea of a confederacy with Georgia isn't of higher priority for Baku.
As for the idea of the Georgian president's strange initiative, it is absolutely clear that such statements are made with a definite purpose. Of course, we are used to Saakashvili's excessively loud uncommon statements and the fact that sometimes he crosses the line. On the other hand, one shouldn't say that he is clinically ill and that his statements shouldn't be taken seriously.
The talks about a confederacy are not incidental. This is an attempt to test the Georgian public's reaction on the matter. Saakashvili hardly voices such ideas, which are not his own, of course, without the consent of his American instructors. Saakashvili does not generate such projects on his own, especially when it comes to big policy.