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Monday, 24 October 2016


Georgia shifts its problems onto neighbors

27.12.2010  |  11:33

11787.jpegGeorgia is still hoping to "push" its positions through in the international arena. Getting no dividends from Kazakhstan's chairmanship in OSCE Tbilisi relies on the help of Ukraine scheduled to chair the organization in 2013. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed long-playing hopes of Saakashvili regime with director of the Ukrainian branch of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Kornikov and Ruslan Kharabua, expert at the Caucasus department of the Institute of CIS countries in Moscow.


Despite compliments Georgian diplomats paid to Kazakhstan and Nursultan Nazarbayev, they failed to benefit from Astana's chairmanship in OSCE. The last OSCE summit symbolized Georgia's desperate or even hysteric attempts to retain the issues of mythic "occupation" and "violation of international law by Russia". Despite the ultimatum brought forward by Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze and other officials the organization did not go on a leash of Saakashvili regime's ambitions and left the issue of disputed territories outside the final declaration.

Now Sakartvelo strategists have a new hope: Ukraine's chairmanship in OSCE that will start in 2 years' time. Georgia has decided to make early preparations. As Giorgi Bokeria, secretary of the republic's Security Council, told journalists official Tbilisi expects the Ukrainian leadership to be more active at solving territorial conflicts. "We hope Ukraine as the OSCE chair will adopt an active stand on all fundamental issues, including the Georgian-Russian conflict", - he said. However, Bokeria decided to have a path for retreat adding that he does not set great hopes on the organization's activity because of the crisis OSCE undergoes, as was evident at the summit in Astana despite Kazakhstan's rigorous efforts.

It is very well known what Georgia calls efficient work of the organization pressing for acknowledgement of Georgia's bygone territorial integrity that includes Abkhazia and South Ossetia by OSCE member states, and a fundamental demand that Russia take its military bases out of the Transcaucasian republic and revoke its recognition of the republics.

It is also obvious that Moscow won't make such concessions. Speaking about OSCE itself, after the conclusions made by Heidi Tagliavini's commission on the originator of the August tragedy, Vienna lost all trust in Georgia particularly when Russia has much more weight in the organization from the pragmatic point of view.

An interesting thing is that next year's OSCE chair is Lithuania, an old "russophobe". It is not totally clear why speaking about the support expected from Kiev, Bokeria ignores Georgia's old partners. Probably now the representatives of both states are holding secret talks on tactics and strategy. The topic needs no additional comments.

Indeed, the Georgian regime had better set more hopes on Lithuania than Ukraine no more governed by Saakashvili's close friend Viktor Yushenko but his namesake - Viktor Yanukovich who unlike his predecessor, does not suffer russophobia. Besides, as GeorgiaTimes interviewees remark, there is no point in discussing benefits of Ukraine's chairmanship for different reasons.

Ruslan Kharabua, expert at the Caucasus department of the Institute of CIS countries in Moscow:

Georgia is constantly trying to derive benefit from any international process. This is normal, on the whole, particularly in view of recently held Georgian-Ukrainian talks. We don't know what arrangements were made by both leaders but in my opinion these talks might be connected with the supplies of arms or support for Georgia in GUAM and other European organizations.

By the way, the Ukrainian leader's behavior is not so predictable and unambiguous. Ukraine's attempts to show benevolence to Russia don't look convincing to me. Other real things are done like meetings with Saakashvili, cooperation discussions. Probably Ukraine is playing a sort of game in order to demonstrate it is in the West's fairway channel. Still, solidarity with Georgia is out of question. Probably, the republic will maintain friendship with Tbilisi without condoning Georgia. Thinking of Lithuania's chairmanship, even here the Georgian side will expect major indulgence. Georgia's current interest is the return of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and most probably this will be their principal activity. Still, that does not mean things will go the way Vilnius, Tbilisi or Kiev will want. I have serious doubts that Lithuania's OSCE chairmanship will be a miracle for Georgia.

Vladimir Kornikov, director of the Ukrainian branch of the Institute of CIS countries:

OSCE itself is not totally reliable as an organization in terms of its future, its function and role, as repeatedly mentioned by its member states. The aspiration to become a year-long chair of the OSCE so vividly expressed by some post-Soviet states looks so ridiculous. Kazakhstan had this aspiration for many years setting hopes on it like Kazakhstan's initiatives will shake the world. Ok, they have been chairing for a year. Yes, they did manage to organize a most representative forum in history, and what's next?

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