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Baramidze gives “civilized” advice to Kiev13.11.2010 | 18:13
Georgia is openly bowing and scraping before Ukraine. Georgian vice PM Georgi Baramidze, currently on a visit to Kiev, has called Ukrainians best friends suggesting joint entry into the European Union and urging continued cooperation in military sphere. However, benefits from this kind of flirting can be crossed out by Baramidze's statement that Ukraine's recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence contradicts Ukraine's national interests. It is unlikely Viktor Yanukovich will enjoy this kind of advice.
"We are glad to share our experience and learn from each other how to build a strong state, a strong democracy, market economy and conquer corruption in severe conditions in order to achieve the ultimate goal - stable peace, security and prosperity", - Baramidze outlined the official objective of his trip to Ukraine. According to vice PM, no matter what regime governs Ukraine, Kiev-Tbilisi relations must strengthen.
The Georgian guest tried to round off rough corners on the tricky arms issue. The trouble is that with the arrival of Viktor Yanukovich military cooperation between the republics almost stopped for clear reasons. A short time ago official Kiev acknowledged impossibility of further arms supplies to Tbilisi. Apparently, full of grief over the loss of "the brother in arms", Sakartvelo diplomats decided to gauge.
"Rises and falls happen all the time", - Baramidze is quoted by RBC. - Georgia is not under embargo, civilized countries of the world keep supporting Tbilisi. We don't attack Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey. We have the right to our armed forces, and Ukraine's military-industrial complex can manufacture goods and export them".
It is not clear whether Kiev will respond to such a flattering compliment to its military industrial complex. It looks like Mikheil Saakashvili will have to say good-bye to Ukrainian weapons. Yanukovich is not a bosom friend. To him friendship with Russia is much more important.
Tbilisi has its own plans in this respect. There is a way to hit Ukrainian-Russian rapprochement: the European Union that Baramidze naturally does not forget. "Both our countries consider it very important to what extent we can cooperate in the direction of the European Union, since EU membership is declared as the top priority for our countries. This is a legal process if we can cooperate, or coordinate our joint actions in this direction", - the Georgian politician emphasized.
He was so talkative and verbose that quoting torrents of his flattery will take too long. There is one "but" here. Atmosphere of artificial benevolence created by Georgi Baramidze could have lingered in Kiev after his departure but for his fatal mistake. Speaking about possible recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence by Yanukovich, vice PM put himself in an awkward position stating that this act contradicts Ukraine's national interests.
According to Baramidze, no civilized world country acknowledges independence of the Transcaucasian republics. Indeed, Venezuela is so much behind Gambia, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros and Liberia that Tbilisi recently set diplomatic relations with. This is not the main thing though. Georgian vice PM made clumsy attempts to teach Ukraine using an unambiguous hint: if you don't recognize "our" territories, you will display your lack of civility. Isn't it too much for a politician to define what's in line with Ukraine's interests, and what is not?
GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with Denis Denisov, deputy director of Ukrainian branch of the Institute of CIS countries to ask him for comments on the loud statements by the Georgian guest.
- No doubt, it's not Baramidze's business to analyze Ukraine's national interests. Georgian vice PM should be reminded of Kosovo here. We all know well that Kosovo, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized according to political conjuncture. This is common practice of international settlement of territorial issues. Unfortunately (or fortunately) Ukraine has not recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia so far, in the near future the status quo will be preserved unless Russia insists on a different thing. Let me remind you that in 2008 Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a vague statement on the issue. Nothing else has ever been pronounced on the official level.
- What's the outlook for military cooperation between Ukraine and Georgia in your opinion?
- Baramidze's words about hope for cooperation in military sphere are not more than a slogan. We can acknowledge that current regime in Ukraine will be very careful considering such a partner as Georgia. We are fully aware of the Russian Federation's position on the issue, so Ukrainian leadership will most likely not aggravate relations with Moscow. Still, to be frank Georgia's arms market would be remunerative to Ukraine. I will repeat that most probably there will be no supplies in the current conjuncture.