Tbilisi wasting its breath27.04.2011 | 13:54
Abkhazia's economic success is getting on Tbilisi's nerves. The Georgian party was especially irritated by the information that Sukhum is going to set up direct flight connection with Tel-Aviv. Sakartvelo parliamentarians are threatening everyone who decides to set up flight connection with the Caucasian republic and promises to complain to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Georgia's efforts were discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with a well-known Russian political expert Valiery Khomyakov.
Abkhaz skies won't leave Georgia alone. Everything started last winter when Moscow and Sukhum agreed to open flight connection. According to the signed document, the countries agreed to create in their territories all the necessary conditions for the other country's aircrafts and their navigational, technical and airport servicing. Naturally, Tbilisi criticized the Russian-Abkhaz agreement. In Georgia's opinion, flight connection between Russia and Abkhazia "lacks a legal basis" and is "the violation of practically all regulations of Chicago convention". That's when Sakartvelo first mentioned that the republic retains the right to complain about the big neighbor to ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).
It was finally done. However, the appeal had partial effect. ICAO supported Sakartvelo's "territorial integrity" in the context of old boundaries but things did not get to any sanctions in respect of Moscow or Sukhum. As was stated by the Abkhaz foreign policy administration, Georgia is simply concerned about any possible economic or social improvement in Abkhazia's life. "Tbilisi purposefully continues supporting the regime of sanctions, trying to make obstacles on the way of the republic's development, - Head of the Abkhaz MFA Maxim Gvindzhia underlined in an interview to GeorgiaTimes. - The same can be said about all these statements concerning the airport".
Now that Sukhum is actively cooperating not only with Russia but with other countries as well, Tbilisi's "righteous anger" grew many times. Georgia did not like it that in the nearest time Abkhazia is going to set up direct flight connection with Israel. According to a parliamentarian of the republic Nugzar Tsiklauri, any country that makes up its mind to settle flight connection with Sukhum or Tskhinval must know that it will acquire "a serious opponent in the name of Georgia". "We do not expect any renowned and serious air company to perform the flights, - he is cited by GHN. - And ICAO's bylaws does not allow member-countries to fly to such "territories"; that is the matter of the country's prestige and all the companies know that the organization will apply serious sanctions".
It looks like Advisor to Abkhaz Prime Minister Beslan Eshba was right when he said not long ago that Georgian politicians still haven't understood that the economic development cannot be ensured by threats and sanctions. "One should reconsider the outdated approaches, I believe, - he said. - The whole world has realized that one should look for the mechanisms of interaction with such republics as Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the Georgians have not understood it so far".
GeorgiaTimes correspondent talked to Director General of the National Strategy Council Valeriy Khomyakov about the consequences of Tbilisi's effort and whether Abkhazia should expect any sanctions in respect of the Caucasian republic on ICAO's part. He said that the point at issue is evidently politics, not the possible agreements between Israel and Abkhazia. "Of course, Georgia does not welcome the fact that Abkhazia conducts its own foreign policy, including in the field of informational and transport communications and economic connections, - our interlocutor says. - And Sukhum is showing great activity in this aspect. It's enough to remember the Abkhaz government's contacts with the countries of Latin America. Abkhazia is trying to act on its own, thus causing Georgian government's irritation".
The success of setting up the flight connection will largely depend on the Israeli government's position and, of course, the United States, Valery Khomyakov believes. "I think that the current American governors are not very much interested in Abkhazia being dependent on Tbilisi this way, - the expert stated. - To some extent, there is some alienation between Obama and Saakashvili's regimes compared to Bush's times. I hope that ultimately the Israeli and Abkhaz air companies will agree with each other despite Georgia's protests. It will be kind of reference point defining which way the world community will incline in respect of Abkhazia. And if the agreements are achieved one will be free to make conclusions that the West is gradually forgetting Tbilisi's protest in respect of Sukhum's contacts with the influential players in the political arena, and Israel is among them".