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Why does Tbilisi fear Moscow?04.04.2011 | 12:47
It's common knowledge that Tbilisi looks on Moscow as a number-one enemy. But according to journalist Vakhtang Shelia, Russia is now playing not only the role of the South-Caucasian axis of evil. Shelia presented it as the initiator of a slaughter in Kirghizia, the coups in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and a power capable of changing other countries' political regimes like a pair of gloves. Georgian analyst, Director of the Institute of Regional Safety Alexander Rusetsky told GeorgiaTimes why Tbilisi politicians dread Moscow.
Let us first retell an item published by former reporter of the Commersant and Novaya Gazeta Russian periodicals Vakhtang Shelia. In his opinion, Russia is not only the major and most influential player in the post-Soviet space but is also the initiator of various fateful changes in the former Soviet republics. According to the article, Moscow has craftily inspired the events in Kirghizia, tried to make a coup in Uzbekistan twice and is troubling waters in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan. The entire activity is coordinated by the Kremlin with the single purpose of bringing all the former Soviet countries back under its control.
Naturally, Georgia is shown in the article as the main victim of this evil policy, while Shelia as its citizen is warning other states against the reoccurrence of the August-2008 events. He believes that his peace-loving country has fallen victim to a cynical plot between Russia and some dark powers.
The article, which is full of apocalyptic scenarios, has got a strong Tbilisi odour. According to the custom, the overgrown frequenters competently discuss the global policy on the level of "whether USA will hand over Georgia to Russia" or "Do you come to know that Putin has agreed on everything with Saakashvili and Abkhazia will be divided in halves?" The main trait of Caucasian political experts "discussing the issue" is that they are sure of some global plot with all the steps being worked out. Vakhtang Shelia's analysis is done approximately at the same level.
Let us try to find out the reasons of Tbilisi's fear of Moscow.
Generally speaking, Georgian politicians and experts are perfect at turning everything upside down. The dramatic evens of the country's latest history, or rather, its decomposing, have long and dogmatically been interpreted by them as Russia's grand anti-Georgian plot. This theory is always substantiated by a contemporary ideology. For instance, it has been lately assumed that the Kremlin harms Tbilisi, envying its freedom and democracy.
But let us leave the quality of the Georgian freedom and democracy for a while and pay attention to one specific detail: it is with Georgia that Russia has developed the most strained relations in the post-Soviet territory. As for the rest of the countries, including Azerbaijan that also lost territories, it maintains diplomatic relationship and a sound transport connection with them, which means normal cooperation. It should also be noted that Moscow has got precious interests in some of the former USSR countries. Still, none of them has ever complained about Russian scheming in the form of supporting the opposition, planting subverters and etc.
Why is then Russia capable of doing it all in Georgia? The answer is paranoia. But let us give the floor to the Georgian expert Alexander Rusetsky who can hardly be suspected of excessive pro-Russion attitude.
- Is Russia's influence in the South Caucasus really strong today?
- RF's economic influence in the South-Caucasian countries is rather strong and has been increasing in recent years. But it has no political authority in the SC countries, except for a part of the population in some regions.
- Is Russia capable of forming domestic processes in South-Caucasian countries and, specifically, in Georgia?
-One should have a wider view of the processes. Russia and Georgia's discrepancies should be viewed in the context of a big geopolitical fight between Russia and the West for the energy resources control. I look on Georgia as a victim in this fight.
-Why is the territorial issue the top one in Tbilisi's rhetoric, then? I mean, is it an attempt to shift the responsibility for their unsuccessful relationship with the Abkhaz and Ossetians on Russia?
- Because Georgians are sure that Russia did not act as a neutral mediator in the peacekeeping process that was realized under the UN's aegis once and the OSCE's aegis the other time but supported one of the parties.
- And why was Russia to support Georgia instead of Abkhazia and South Ossetia?
-It wasn't. But since RF supported the Abkhaz and Ossetians' position in the argument, it will take a lot of time to mend Tbilisi and Moscow's relationship. Georgia will fear Russia instead of trusting it.
The Georgian expert answered why the northern neighbour is so feared in his country. The reason is that Russia supported Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is so far unclear whether this is one of the small country's complexes or anything else.