Europe treating Caucasus with memory erasing25.03.2011 | 20:33
European Union has hardly got a match in its attempts to strengthen positions in the South Caucasus. First, the officials of the organizations insisted on letting observers to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Now head of the EU mission in Sakartvelo Hansjorg Haber has come out with a new initiative: Russia and Georgia should communicate as if there has never been August-2008 and Tbilisi should build a dialogue with the Caucasian republics without looking back on "Moscow's opinion". The strange plan of the European diplomat was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent and the leading expert of the Caucasian Department of the Institute of CIS Countries Ruslan Harabua.
"Russian-Georgian relationship must be enhanced as if there is no problem of Abkhazia and South Ossetia but on the other hand, Georgia's relations with the Abkhaz and Ossetians must be such as if there is no Russian factor at all", - Haber is cited by Our Abkhazia. He says the Georgian party should make "serious proposals" to the "conflict parties" as an alternative; however, he did not specify the character of these proposals.
That's quite unexpected, isn't it? Haber actually offers Russia and Georgia to cross out the August-2008 events, the treacherous attack of Sakartvelo's troops against the sleeping Tskhinval, the victims among Russian peacekeepers and Ossetians and, of course, Moscow's further recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence that had been so longed for by the republics. On the other hand, the European diplomat believes that the hindrance in the dialogue between Tbilisi, Sukhum and Tskhinval is not the foolish behavior of the Georgian government, which is only talking of peace in the Caucasus, but the big Russia.
Some of the Georgian media immediately jumped at Haber's initiative. They say that Georgia has many times tried to establish contacts with the Abkhaz and the Ossetians but it was Moscow that impeded an agreement between the three parties by its alleged interference in negotiations. But why then Tbilisi's program "Involvement Via Cooperation" stuck? And why isn't there any real progress in the talks in Geneva, Ergneti and Gal?
It looks like in their attempts to achieve consensus, Georgian diplomats hold discussions with representatives of the Caucasian republics as with the residents of the "puppet regimes" and, of course, viewing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as their territories. As is known, a constructive dialogue is possible only when the participants communicate as equals. Any one can be blamed for the current situation - Russia or Nicaragua that has also recognized the Abkhaz and Ossetians' right for sovereignty; however, this is not the way out. As an experienced diplomat, Hansjorg Haber should realize it in the first place.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with the leading expert of the Caucasian Department of the Institute of CIS Countries Ruslan Harabua and asked him to comment on the initiative of the EU mission leader in Georgia. In the political expert's opinion, Haber is making rather philosophic statements. "When movements started related to the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, no one remembered about Russia, - says our interlocutor. - For some reasons, European representatives believe that Caucasian republics are directly connected with Russia. In fact, both the war in South Ossetia and the war in Abkhazia did not involve Russia. That's why Haber's proposals sound very strange to me".
According to Ruslan Harabua, one day Russia and Georgia will forget the events of August 2008. "But it will happen only when Moscow and Tbilisi come to an understanding in their talks about Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, today one still cannot erase that five-day war from one's memory", - he added.
While answering a question about the prospects of the European Union emissaries' stay in the South Caucasus, the expert underlined that in a situation when EU is trying not to see or recognize the Caucasian republics, its observers will stay only in Georgia. "If Brussels wants to see Abkhazia and South Ossetia not only as conflict parties but also as completely formed states some day, the whole thing will move off dead center, - Harabua underlined. - For instance, why is not UN in Abkhazia? Because they want to have a single office in Georgia. But there will be no UN observers in Sukhum under such conditions. One should remember that today, Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are just neighbours, though the West does not want to respect these realities".