Tbilisi flunks spy PR-campaign10.11.2010 | 12:20
A statement by Georgian Deputy FM Nino Kalandadze on Tbilisi's readiness to discuss the situation over detainees was the first attempt to start a dialogue with Russia. It was also up to her to admit the fact that Georgian leaders' acts of provocation did not entail harsh actions on the part of Moscow.
Attempts of Georgian authorities to take the "spy scandal" into spotlight seem to have no effect . For the time being this incident is discussed only in Sakartvelo. As for other "participants" and casual witnesses, Tbilisi practically forces them to react.
"The Russian side asked information on four detained citizens via the Swiss embassy in order to proceed to consular acts", - Kalandadze reported.
Deputy Georgian FM's words were confirmed by Sergey Lavrov, head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "We demand consular access. If these are Russian citizens we want to make sure of it", - he stated adding that all statements Tbilisi makes on pursued talks around the "spy scandal" are a provocation.
Apparently, the provocation carried out on the Special Agent Day coincided with another date, or two dates, to be more exact: NATO summit in Lisbon scheduled for the end of November and OSCE summit in Astana planned for December 1-2. Mikheil Saakashvili is supposed to attend both events. The core message of Georgian president's speech before world leaders is already obvious. Like being unfortunate neighbors of aggressive Russia his faithful subjects face incredible threat so please help us if you can. On the whole, it sounds like please-donate-for-the-struggle-against-evil-Russian-spies.
Sergey Markov, a well-known Russian politologist, a State Duma deputy, is also sure that "the spy scandal" aimed primarily at "Western audience" is a provocation. According to him, Saakashvili, known as a pathologic liar, is trying to deceive the whole world again. "We can't be blind to the fact that all these exposures were organized deliberately in run-up to NATO and OSCE summits. Besides, there is no clear evidence of spy activities of the detainees", - Markov remarked in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.
According to him, it's quite possible that detentions made by Georgian special services are purely accidental. The idea was to have something for Saakashvili to appear before his Western patrons. "He wants to convince the world that Georgia faces a threat from Russia, and, consequently, needs money for struggle - naturally, he personally must have it", - Sergey Markov added.
The expert also thinks it possible that "exposal" of Russian spies can be a weapon of Georgian authorities in their fight with the opposition. "It is very important for Saakashvili to find connection between these "spies" and the opposition. He is certain that this will help him retain power", - Markov highlighted.
The Russian parliamentarian expresses certitude that even if there is no Russian intelligence network in Georgia - it must be organized. "The whole world is interested to find out what is going on in Georgia's military structures subordinate to Saakashvili, a war criminal representing a security threat to the whole Caucasian region. Honestly, even NATO countries are highly interested to have Russian military intelligence service actively working in the territory of Georgia", - he thinks.
Russia should not forget that "diplomacy in Georgian style" is made of complicated word structures with every second word a provocation. Apparently, Ms Kalandadze's statements were a test for Russian leaders that reiterate refusal to start direct talks with people considered war criminals in Moscow. By all appearances, Tbilisi had expected a more excited reaction to detention of 13 persons accused of espionage in favor of Russia - aggressive comments, or maybe even threats. But Saakashvili regime's masochistic aspirations were frustrated. Russian diplomats chose a much more constructive way of protecting interests of their citizens without getting distracted by various external factors.