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Saakashvili not afraid of Russia any more

07.10.2010  |  20:54

8540.jpegGeorgian authorities again deny their own statements. In spring, Foreign Ministry of the republic suggested that Russia should sign an agreement on the non-use of force but Mikheil Saakashvili sees no need for it any longer. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed the metamorphoses of Tbilisi's foreign policy with Director General for the National Strategy Council Valery Khomyakov.


"Georgian government has got a clear position and demands the fulfillment of the six-item agreement as of 12 August 2008", - Our Abkhazia is citing Press Speaker of the republic Manana Mandzhgaladze. She says Sakartvelo is adhering to Medvedev-Sarkozy plan and, consequently, sees no need for signing another nonaggression treaty.

What exactly has changed in the Georgian leader's mind is a big secret. Still, the fact remains that half a year ago, the chief "diplomat" of Georgia Grigol Vashadze publicly stated the readiness to sign a nonaggression treaty with Moscow. "If Russia wants another legal tool - no problem. I would sing the document this moment if Head of the RF Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov were here", - Vashadze boasted.

Later on, Deputy Head of the Georgian delegation at Geneva negotiations Sergey Kapanadze explained that the republic does express its readiness to conclude the "nonaggression pact" with Moscow. However, in Tbilisi's opinion, such agreement should comprise all the items of the agreement of 12 August 2008, from the non-renewal of fire to the withdrawal of the armed forces by both parties, Russian Federation and Georgia.

The conclusion of a legally binding document on the non-use of force in the South Caucasus was mentioned right after the tragic events of August 2008. Still, despite the international cooperation in negotiations between Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Geneva, there has been no progress as to the agreement execution.

The people of Caucasian republics take the Georgian authorities' games with skepticism. As was stated by South-Ossetian Ambassador to Russia Dmitry Medoyev, all the proposals made by Georgians are senseless. "Signing a nonaggression agreement with a third party is nonsense. It is clear from the Georgian party's proposals that Georgians were planning to attack Russia. In this case, Moscow acts as a guarantor of peace in the Caucasus and will sign no treaties with the Georgians", - he underlined. On his part, head of the Abkhaz foreign administration Maxim Gvindzhia is sure that Tbilisi is purposefully refusing to sign the document on international guarantees of the non-use of force in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, thus confirming its revanchist sentiments in respect of both republics.

It is notable that it is the country's opposition that is calling upon the Georgian government to ensure the guarantees of maintaining peace in the Caucasus. For instance, leader of the Our Georgia - Free Democrats party Irakly Alasania has underlined that even the unilateral messages-declarations would allow starting a comprehensive dialogue with the Abkhaz and Ossetians and resuming the UN observers' activity in the region.

However, things never moved off dead center. Not only does not Saakashvili want to hear anything about treaties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia; he has by some reason decided that the six-item seize-fire agreement of 2008 is a "nonaggression pact" in itself. How can one explain the astonishing logic of the Georgian authorities? We put this question to Director General of the National Strategy Council Valery Khomyakov.

- It looks like something is changing in the Georgian politicians' mind, for a nonaggression pact is signed when there is a real threat of an armed conflict and the heads of the countries ensure their guarantees by signatures in order to avoid it. There are two scenarios here. The first one is that the Georgian politicians believe Russia is not going to attack the republic. The second one is a backward situation, I mean, regardless of the treaty, Tbilisi believes that Russia is sharpening the knife and is going to attack poor Georgia. But it's difficult to say what is happening in reality. I still hope that this change of position is related to the first scenario, for since August 2008, Moscow never gave the Georgian government a chance to even think of any war, though Georgia made some statements on the matter.

Is the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan enough, or is there a need for a new treaty considering the realities?

- Of course, one would want more. One would want a serious Caucasian conference with the participation of not only Russia and Georgia but also of Azerbaijan, Armenia and European Union. I understand that Dmitry Medvedev will hardly agree to get to the negotiating table with Saakashvili, so the conference could be held at the level of foreign ministers. Yes, the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement is related to a definite situation but things are changing, as well as Europe's attitude towards the five-day war. One has to go on, shifting the situation onto a milder track of communication. One day Georgia will get rid of Saakashvili, so what to do next should be discussed today.

The talk with Valery Alexeevitch makes one assume another scenario: Georgia's getting ready for a war and if such preparation goes on, the aggressor does not need any additional international liabilities. However, this kind of scenario is scarcely probable: Mishiko would hardly want another box on the ear.

Ruslan Chigoev

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