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Monday, 24 October 2016


Georgia goes cap in hand to Europe

12.05.2011  |  12:52

Georgia goes cap in hand to Europe. 16931.jpegThe National Council has come up with a new concept for normalization of the situation in Caucasus and his vision of the neighborhood policy in the region. As a result, it is expected that Brussels will come to help Tbilisi. The opposition keeps reminding that the idea of Mikheil Saakashvili's dialogue with Russian leaders is futile and insists on having a mediator. The EU's reinforced role in conflict settling will help develop relations between Moscow and Tbilisi. Our interlocutor, an expert of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies Ajar


Kurdov thinks that Georgia will reject Europe's helping hand.

The National Council, that initially comprised eleven parties, was reborn on November 2007 when oppositional rallies were suppressed by Merabishvili's subordinates. Now the leaders of the council are Zviad Dzidziguri and Koba Davitashvili from People's Party. The new concept of neighborhood was proposed by Bidzina Giorgobani, head of the representation office of the Georgian faction in Western Europe. He is well aware of what Europe thinks and feels for Georgia's northern neighbor.

The opposition launches a new attempt to persuade Mikheil Saakashvili into changing his hostile rhetoric to a constructive dialogue and is ready to supply him with efficient tools to achieve the result, if the government fails to find a common language with the Kremlin. Formerly Washington acted as an arbiter. After the USA shifted their foreign policy vector, it is likely that the European Union will take over. Zviad Dzidziguri, the leader of the Conservative Party, is sure that Georgia's continuous provocations against Russia will have fatal consequences for the entire region.

Azhdar Kurdov, an expert of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, in an interview with GeorgiaTimes shares the opinion of the Georgian politician: "On one hand, we hear general concepts declared. On the other, when specific issues are touched upon, the Georgian side is tough like, for example, on the issue of recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia's WTO entry, the question if the Russian president has the right to congratulate Georgian citizens on the victory in the Great Patriotic War, on recognition of the so-called genocide of Circassians. When people want peace, they have no stones hidden in their bosom and don't start unfriendly actions underhand".

The idea is clear. Official Tbilisi's strategy toward peoples of the Russian Federation will not bring desired results, and incorrect accentuation will easily take Sakartvelo to ruin. The world community that looks sadly at the Caucasian dead-end, is sick and tired of defiant geopolitics. The European Union, interacting with Russia, Georgia and partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, can easily implant the idea of "involvement without recognition" to the conflicting parties.

"Involvement does not mean recognition of Sukhum and Tskhinval and their economic integration into Europe. That means restoration of trust between nations and the search of ways of rapprochement with Georgia. If involvement fails, this will boost the policy of recognition", - Gogi Khutsishvili told journalists.

"In my opinion this idea is feasible. When two conflicting sides fail to reach understanding, they start looking for a mediator. The European Union could take up this role, why not. Yet, I think that for the purposes of improvement between Russia and Georgia, we must not think of external assistants, but of reasons why these relations went wrong. The conflict didn't fall off the sky, it came as a consequence of certain policies that brought about the war in August 2008. If someone in Tbilisi hopes that EU politicians will put pressure on Moscow, these are naпve hopes. If they sincerely want improvement, European mediators are more suitable here. After all, Europe has borders with Russia and must be interested in minimizing conflicts on the continent", - our interlocutor explains.

Europe has serious doubts whether the autocratic regime will hear the voice of reason. Last year, Stefan Fьle, the EU commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy stated that ultraliberal ideas of Georgian authorities don't quite agree with the free trade principles of the EU. The economic policy of the Caucasian republic was criticized too. The European Union tried to make Georgian leaders be more involved in the associated agreement and the free trade zone - two directions that Europeans consider as the backbone of healthy partnership. But Mikheil Saakashvili continues to hide behind the Act of Economic Freedom.

Apparently, he thinks that this document will be enough for integration into the European structures.
As a result, words of the Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev that a constructive dialogue with Georgian leaders is impossible, are not incidental. Unfriendly acts Tbilisi organizes against Moscow and Russian leaders will become a difficult band of obstacles on the way to stability in the region.

Ilona Raskolnikova

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