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Germany to reconcile Tbilisi and Moscow?19.05.2011 | 20:27
It is going to be Germany that will reconcile Georgia and Russia. Such supposition was made by leader of Our Georgia - Free Democrats party, former Georgian Ambassador to UN Irakliy Alasania. It is notable that the oppositionist made his statement after a trip to Berlin where he held a number of meetings with representatives of the German authorities. GeorgiaTimes correspondent talked to a well-known Russian political expert Sergey Mikheev and Georgian parliamentary Petre Mamradze about how the Germans will be able to help normalize Moscow and Tbilisi's relationship.
Moscow and Tbilisi's relationship.
"Germany may act as a mediator in restoring relationship between Moscow and Tbilisi, - Irakly Alasania is cited by Rosbalt. - I became sure of it after the meetings held in the administration of the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel". At the same time, the oppositionist says that the main condition for settling the diplomatic contacts between Moscow and Tbilisi broken by the initiative of the Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili is still the resignation of Sakartvelo's current leader. The country's former ambassador to UN is sure that only then a thaw is possible between the states, which will be encouraged through the intermediary of Berlin.
What kind of help could the German capital promise Alasania? As is known, he had a meeting with the Chancellor's Advisor for Foreign Affairs Christoph Heusgen and talked to local politicians in the German foreign policy administration and in Bundestag. As was reported by the media, the oppositionist mainly told his colleagues of the problems connected with the changing of the electoral environment in Georgia. "It is very important for Georgia to fix the practice of changing power by way of free elections, which primarily requires improving the electoral environment, - he is cited by Novosti-Georgia. - I am sure we will achieve this purpose with the international support".
So long, the official Berlin made no official statements after Alasania's visit. Neither did it make any in winter when Mikhail Saakashvili spoke about Germany's probable role as a mediator in negotiations with Moscow.
Then, the Georgian leader declared that Germany should use its contacts and "tell Russia to give up confrontation". "Georgia wants peaceful negotiations", - he said. Of course, his message, just as many other pseudo-initiatives voiced by Mishiko, was aimed at creating an image and perfectly fitted the proposed framework of a "united and peaceful Caucasus". Faking a lamb, the Georgian president made constant exclamations about the peaceful intentions in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and about the Russian "occupation" but never stirred a finger to bring to life the widely promoted strategy of "involvement via cooperation", allegedly aimed at bringing closer Tbilisi, Tskhinval and Sukhum's positions. Anyway, the absence of any logic in the statements of Mikheil, as he is called in his native country now, revealed itself in less than a month when he carelessly accused Germany of "preventing" Sakartvelo's entrance in the European Union.
In neither case, Berlin responded to Saakashvili's expostulations. Can we say that now that Germany has been visited by such an experienced and skillful diplomat as Alasania, the Germans will ponder over their possible role in the settlement of the Georgian-Russian discrepancies?
Sergey Mikheev, Deputy Director General of the Center of Political Technologies Foundation: "It is widely known that the European countries have been trying to act as mediators since the times of the conflict in South Ossetia. However, they have achieved no success so far. I would like to remind you that in August 2008, the French tried to take an active part in the game but failed, honestly speaking. It is difficult to say whether Germany will be able to do it now. It is unclear what the subject of negotiations between Russia and Georgia might be and how Berlin could help them. The point is the absence of agenda. The Georgian party insists upon the necessity of discussing the issue of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia but Russia has already made its choice. To a great extent, the choice of these republics' sovereignty was provoked by Georgia's actions. And now it cannot become the subject of negotiations, so Germany will hardly help here.
If we take the prospect of such negotiations after Saakashvili's resignation, then it is unclear whether the Georgian president is going to resign. I've got an impression that he does not want to leave his post and will invent new reasons to remain in power.
Petre Mamradze, oppositional deputy of the Georgian parliament: The prospect of Germany's mediation is real in itself. It not without a reason that during Saakashvili's military-political adventure in 2008, European Union initiated negotiations that ended up in signing a peaceful cease-fire agreement. And Germany, Ms. Merkel especially, played a very positive role then. By the way, it was the Chancellor who warned that Saakashvili's regime should not be given a Membership Action Plan, for even this plan was the fire that the Georgian president could not be allowed to play with. But ultimately, Saakashvili realized his adventure, anyway.
However, I'd like to stress that for as long as Saakashvili and his group are in power, there can be no negotiations with Russia. Germany will be able to play an important role together with the whole Europe when the political situation and climate change in Georgia and when there is no Saakashvili.