Georgia to miss recognition of Tskhinval and Sukhum?17.01.2011 | 18:43
For some time already Georgia's expert community has been discussing possible recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence. Is official Tbilisi likely to sit at negotiation table with Tskhinval and Sukhum representatives on equal terms? What is the West's role in building a dialogue between conflicting parties in South Caucasus? GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked these questions in an interview with Soso Tsintsadze, a politologist, president of the Diplomatic Academy of Georgia.
It will be remarked that Tsintsadze's recent statement on the situation around Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's sovereignty issue was a shock to Georgia's political establishment. The expert expressed suspicions about the final communiqué of the 14th round of Geneva talks. As Tsintsadze reported, the document contains the following phrase: "The parties agreed that the peace process cannot continue unless Russia's demands on recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as acknowledgement of the new reality are met". But as the politologist asserts, Georgian diplomats overlooked (putting it mildly) this negative result of the Geneva talks for Tbilisi. "The communiqué of the latest Geneva consultations contains facts that nobody paid
attention to, and this is very bad for us", - Tsintsadze warned.
Knowing him as one of the most dedicated advocates of "restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity" these words cause a whole storm of comments coming down to one thing - recognition of Sukhum and Tskhinval is out of question, and the West will not betray Georgian allies.
However, in an interview with GeorgiaTimes correspondent Soso Tsintsadze emphasized he didn't share this serenity of Georgian experts. "When I had an interview over the issue I went by a statement I heard on the UN radio. This is an official body broadcasting in five languages. So following the results of the latest negotiation round in Geneva it was stated that signing legally valid agreements between the conflicting parties on non-use of force could facilitate the peacemaking process. This is a comment made by an official body, not just an individual or a journalist - from the States or Europe - and it sounds quite strange to us", - Tsintsadze said.
The expert does not consider these developments acceptable to Georgia. "I can't imagine Saakashvili sitting at negotiation table with Kokoyty and Bagapsh. This will be an indirect acknowledgement of Sukhumi's and Tskhinvali's independence. Such agreements are signed only between equal sovereign states", - Tsintsadze asserts.
However, the president of Georgian Diplomatic Academy is critical about activities of Tbilisi's diplomatic representatives at the recent round of talks in Geneva. "I was quite alarmed at the fact that Georgia's representative at the Geneva talks expressed his discontent over an insufficiently principled position of Western co-chairs in his statement", - Tsintsadze underlined adding that this behavior of diplomats gives reason for thinking, if not alarm.
At all events, Tsintsadze is sure the West won't force Georgia to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. According to him, official Tbilisi must listen to all signals coming from the international community over the issues connected with these two regions. "If the Georgian side does not react to such messages coming from the UN or other organizations, the consequences will be sad", - the expert emphasized.
He also pays attention to the fact that western countries have basically grabbed Georgia's key trump card of political pressure on Moscow with their almost open neglect for Tbilisi's discontent over Russia's accession into World Trade Organization. "The West, apparently, does not want Georgia as an obstacle for Russia's entry into WTO. These facts, these words for us, individuals and independent experts are quite meaningful and unpleasant. We must be more watchful, I believe".