Mikheil Saakashvili’s amusement: paid generosity14.09.2010 | 15:10
Georgian foreign politicians again did their best to get into the "fun facts" column. This time, the point at issue is providing financial aid to a tiny island state of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean. Having lost the remaining political weight in the international arena, Mikheil Saakashvili resorted to mere bribery.
First, let us refresh our basic knowledge of geography: the state of Tuvalu, which gained independence in 1978, is located on nine tiny Pacific islands. The total number of population is slightly over 12 thousand people. Today, Tuvalu is surviving drought, so the Georgian "cash rain" will obviously be much welcomed there. Tbilisi's generosity can be easily explained: Tuvalu representatives agreed to support the Georgian draft resolution on Abkhazian and South-Ossetian refugees at the UN General Assembly last week. The size of the Polynesian county's jack-pot has not yet been reported but, knowing Mikheil Saakashvili's generous attitude towards the newly-cooked allies and the bottomless pockets of his western protectors, one might assume that Tbilisi wouldn't
confine itself to a bottle of Kindzmarauli and a thank-you card.
And now let us come back to December 2009 for a while. That was the time when the authorities of the Republic of Nauru, Tuvalu's neighbours, recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, having set up diplomatic relationship with these countries. Tbilisi was abundant in giving definitions to the act. For instance, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili accused Russia of direct bribery of the Republic of Nauru. "Russia actually paid 50 million dollars for this", - member of the Georgian government stated then. It is notable that the current reports on the process of approving financial aid rendered to Tuvalu on the part of Georgia were voiced by Yakobashvili's administration. After all, when it comes to foreign policy, Georgian officials are better at the art of changing direction than any weathercock.
The fact that Tbilisi starts buying even the smallest states' positive attitude makes it clear that Georgian government is no longer sure of the firmness of its position towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia and of it being approved by international community. It is quite obvious that the countries supporting Georgia in various international organizations do it not for the purpose of pleasing Mishiko the Charmer but simply to have another dig at Moscow. Still, the global anti-Russian sentiments are presently deflating as quickly as Winnie-the-Pooh's balloon shot by Piglet. In this connection, the smell of hysterical fear of the supporters of Saakashvili's regime is lingering above Tbilisi. It is notable that the loud statements about "another professional success" of the local diplomats go together with the proposals to start direct negotiations with Russia. Such behaviour is not typical of winners, not to mention the attempt to buy the minor ones' votes for cheap.
According to a well-known Russian expert, Director of Institute of Political Research, RF State Duma Deputy Sergey Markov, Georgia has "bought" Tuvalu with the help of American and European political elite. "Saakashvili evidently got the money to bribe Tuvalu from his American and European masters. This is a mad step, and it's not Saakashvili's madness but the madness of American Congress. Whom are they giving money to? To those who are swimming in someone else's money and is ready to buy foreign politicians on it? Holding their nose with antagonism to the Georgian president, these people still help him to make Russia repent the aid it provided to Abkhazia and South Ossetia", - Markov said in his talk with GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
According to him, the West's policy can be called shallow, short-sighted and unfair. "Using US' dollars and European Union's euros, Saakashvili is taking advantage of this small country's political resource. However, it is no secret that such mini-states vote at the UN General Assembly, as well as at IOC, for instance, to actually sell their vote. Georgia is not the first one or the last one to buy Tuvalu", - Sergey Markov underlined.
In his turn, Director of International Institute of Political Expertise Eugeny Minchenko remarked that Georgia is providing economical assistance to Tuvalu trying to copy the behavior of grand states, such as Russia. "This decision was induced purely by a psychological factor; there is no politics here. Russia is able to help someone, so Tbilisi decided to demonstrate that Georgia is a wealthy country as well", - the expert believes.
He says that the situation with the financial assistance provided to the Polynesian state definitely bears the stamp of Georgian mentality and love for "window-dressing". "That's a kind of a folk story, a sequel to the Soviet anecdotes about Georgians. It was done merely for domestic use", - Minchenko summed up.