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Americans flattered Georgia by competition with Russia12.01.2011 | 21:02
American experts strongly believe that Georgia is going to play one of the key roles in the North Caucasus this year. For instance, political experts from the Jamestown Research Foundation declared that the Georgian government intends to compete with Russia as a "regional leader". Why did the high-browed foreign analysts make such optimistic conclusions? GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed the matter with head of Caucasian Department of CIS Countries Institute Felix Stanevsky.
The article dedicated to the situation in the North Caucasus says that last year official Tbilisi changed its position abruptly and is now ready to play a more active role in the region. In the foundation experts' opinion, in a situation like that, Russian side should "either put up with these realities", or pursuit a more aggressive policy in respect of Georgia, which is less probable considering "its domestic problems". Moreover, political experts believe that Georgia has got every chance to achieve great success in the Caucasus in future, since "domestic problems" will prevent Russia from neutralizing Tbilisi's active position.
Even Conan Doyle's character might envy the intricate attempts of using the deductive method undertaken by foreign experts. However, trying to derive the particular from the general the Jamestown Foundation officials have obviously overdone it. Perhaps, political experts based themselves upon Georgia's decision to cancel visas for the citizens of the North-Caucasian republics and were guided by the data on the terrorist acts in an unstable region. However, how can one draw a conclusion from this information that Tbilisi's influence in the North Caucasus is expanding and expect Georgia to compete with Russia, which comprises the republics of this region? It looks like the American foundation should train its analysts in geography a bit.
There is another curious idea that Moscow will soon obviously put up with Georgia's growing influence in the Caucasus. It turns out that the authors of the article assign the part of a casual observer to Russia, foretelling more problems in the region, while in the context of the Russian-American reload, even official Washington, which is not lavish in making courtesies, continues praising Russia for its growing geopolitical heft and its pursued policy of modernization.
One feels like asking: is it possible that the honorable Jamestown Foundation decided to voice ultimate truth? For that, the foundation experts should get acquainted with the notions of the abovementioned deduction method as well to expand their knowledge. Having ventured an up-to-date forecast, the authors of the document promoted by Georgian media were basing themselves on the particular and came to rather naïve conclusions that should be avoided by analysts, anyway.
Head of Caucasian Department of CIS Countries Institute Felix Stanevsky shared his opinion on the article published by the American foundation.
- Honestly speaking, the conclusions about Georgia enhancing its influence sound rather strange. I would also like to know the grounds they are made on. In general, one can take any country and declare that its influence is growing. Me personally, I have no impression that Tbilisi's role in the Caucasus is going up.
In all appearances, the experts were basing themselves on the Georgian party's decision regarding the cancellation of visas for the people of the North Caucasus. Can one call it an argument?
- It's just ridiculous. Was there any flow of people from the North-Caucasian republics to Georgia after visas were cancelled? Perhaps, Washington sees it this way. By the way, American and other international sources say that the number of those leaving Georgia in search of a permanent location abroad has not only reduced over the recent years but is still growing. These are not just idle speculation of some analysts; these are facts referred to by international organizations.
What aim could be pursued by the authors of the Jamestown Foundation article?
- I thing these fabricated conclusions may hardly have any effect, for no one will believe in Georgia's growing role in the Caucasus. It is the Georgia that considered Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be its territories and hopes no longer that the Abkhaz and Ossetians will someday return under Tbilisi's control. It is the Georgia that failed in all aspects in August 2008. It has become absolutely clear that Georgia's capabilities have decreased, not grown.
Who's going to pay attention to the analysts' wishful thinking that Tbilisi has suddenly acquired strength? This is nonsense, anyway. Perhaps, the authors of the article thought they would help Georgia in this way but I see no reason here. One may talk about the growing influence as much as one chooses but these conclusions aren't going to have any effect under conditions when people are leaving the republic.