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Plain self-promotion on Luzhkov’s sacking30.09.2010 | 14:02
Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov's dismissal is not discussed solely in Russia. Sacking the chief of city administration with 18 years of experience was a shock to Tbilisi establishment that for some reason refers this event to differences between Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and PM Vladimir Putin. GeorgiaTimes discussed the new pseudo sensation and frantic joy over queer conclusions with representatives of Georgian opposition and Russian politologists.
To wound Moscow has become a habit with Tbilisi. Now any significant event in Russia's political life turns into Sakartvelo's hot topic or a reason to vent bile for August 2008, wine embargo and other grievances.
Even now, instead of tackling unemployment and poverty or dragging the country out of the abyss of debts, Georgian parliamentarians are actively discussing Moscow mayor's dismissal.
Thus, Levan Vepkhadze, a vice speaker from the opposition accounts Luzhkov's dismissal for problems in relationships between the head of the Russian state and prime minister. The parliamentarian seriously thinks that Medvedev and Putin are pursuing some mythic struggle for power. It is difficult to guess why Vepkhadze thinks so. Maybe because of Mishiko, the ruler that lets no one close to his crown inside Georgia, "the last stronghold of democracy in Caucasus" as Saakashvili calls it? "Politologists have repeatedly told that Medvedev and Putin have problems, and I can't definitely say what is going on between them. Still it is evident that Medvedev wants to appear as a power-possessor and a decision-maker", - Vepkhadze adds without a shadow of a doubt.
It is particularly curious why speaking about the situation in Russia Georgian vice speaker calls on Moscow to pull out troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia and comply with commitments to the world community. "Otherwise it might hit the Russian Federation and cause damage to Russian people", - Novosti-Georgia quotes. If that was a threat, then it sounds rather funny, don't you think? But if it was Vepkhadze's flow of consciousness - the timing is wrong, to put it mildly.
What do politicians and experts of both states think about the bright speech of vice-speaker of Georgian parliament? What is the explanation for this "sensational" statement?
Kakha Dzagania, Georgia's Labor Party secretary
Certainly we don't agree with this point of view on Medvedev-Putin conflict. Unfortunately, this allegedly oppositional vice-speaker Vepkhadze is playing into the hands of government. The idea was suggested by president Mikheil Saakashvili and his team so that Georgian people could see: look how bad they are fighting with each other. As a result they will get weaker and we will be able to restore what is now lost. The implication is this. The point is that some so-called oppositionists and opposition parties act as tribunes for the government and Saakashvili's criminal gang.
Such statements sound complete nonsense. Generally speaking, Georgian government must not be interested in Putin-Medvedev relations. The important thing is that the government has neither strength, nor chance to speak about restoration of the republic's territorial integrity. All Saakashvili's policy - interior and foreign - relies on silly, useless self-promotion. That is why Levan Vepkhadze's statements are part of Georgian president's PR campaign.
Felix Stanevsky, head of Caucasus department at the Institute of CIS Countries
I can definitely say that Putin-Medvedev tandem is moving along smoothly. The comment Vladimir Putin made on the president's decision clearly shows that two supreme leaders of Russia agree on dismissal of Moscow mayor. The main thing is that Georgia takes advantage of any such event to criticize Russian leadership. This is an obvious position that in reality stands for neurosis, bullying, big-headed arrogance. They are too much in love with themselves: they criticize everyone, particularly Russia. They are arrogant because this criticism makes them appear they have no problems like others do. This criticism is a typical fault with Georgia's political elite.
Pavel Danilin, expert at Efficient Politics Foundation
It is clear why Georgian politicians are interested in the life of the Russian capital. Unfortunately, Moscow is still a home for a lot of mafia bosses of Georgian origin. Maybe Tbilisi expects some changes here. That is why, probably, Georgian parliamentarians are so excited. I personally would recommend that they stop reading tea leaves: if they are absolutely ignorant of what is going on in the neighboring state then they can't make it a topic of serious discussion. They'd better focus on their direct responsibilities like bringing their president to a more or less adequate state.