Vashadze’s guilty curtseys17.06.2011 | 22:10
Swedish FM Carl Bildt met with his Georgian counterpart in Tbilisi voicing the message of European states to the Transcaucasian republic: stop hindering Russia's entry into WTO. To sweeten nasty words Bildt remarked that Georgia would benefit from it. The EU's rigidness caused by official Tbilisi's constant dodgery was understood in Georgia and when the Swedish minister asked why Georgian authorities intended to abandon Geneva talks, Grigol Vashadze was quick to convince him of the opposite. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed wiggling of the Georgian ministry of foreign affairs with Archil Gegeshidze, a politologist.
discussed wiggling of the Georgian ministry of foreign affairs with Archil Gegeshidze, a politologist.
Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization will be good to all states including Georgia, as the head of Swedish diplomacy said yesterday voicing the position of Europe with regard to obstacles Tbilisi puts in Russia's way to WTO. It is Europe's direct reply to a recent statement of the Georgian ministry of foreign affairs disavowing rumors on Tbilisi's consent to Moscow's accession into WTO. Brussels was openly displeased. Grigol Vashadze understood it well and tried to exonerate himself.
As for WTO - termination of these talks was out of question. The process continues, and we refuse to reveal details in accordance with the agreements. Georgia goes to Switzerland to find a compromise acceptable for both sides - not to block Russia's entry into WTO", - Georgia's number one diplomat babbled.
Today's issue of Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper (Germany) clearly shows Europe's annoyance at the tactic Tbilisi chose in negotiations with Russia over WTO issues - one step forward, two steps back. The author of the article practically quotes Carl Bildt's statement made yesterday.
Besides, Europeans are outraged at the desire of Grigol Vashadze's ministry to abandon the Geneva negotiating process. "The format of talks in Geneva has an important meaning. This process must be continuous. These talks may contribute to the conflict settlement in stages. Geneva talks are meaningful not because they yield a palpable result - I don't expect that, in fact. It's crucial that they continue and form a better environment gradually", - Carl Bildt said reprimandingly.
Grigol Vashadze again tried to disavow statements of his subordinates. "No Georgian official has ever announced termination of Geneva talks. Giga Bokeria in charge of Georgia's delegation stated that continuation of terrorist acts by Russia creates a threat, but we did not say we were withdrawing from the process. We simply tell Russia that it's wrong to send terrorists to Georgia and then talk to us in Geneva", - the Georgian minister said inventing a clumsy excuse.
Grigol Vashadze's precarious situation making him excuse himself to a strict teacher from Sweden like a misbehaving schoolboy, was immediately commented by South Ossetian participants of the negotiating process. "Looks like Vashadze did not know what his deputy - Sergey Kapanadze said (that he sees no point in Georgia's further involvement in Geneva discussions). Meanwhile, Kapanadze refers to Russia's alleged terrorist acts against Georgia, - Boris Chochiev, Edward Kokoyty's plenipotentiary representative for post-conflict settlement mocked quoted by RES agency. - Most probably they made these statements without prior consultations with patronizing Washington and were punished afterwards. This is normal for Georgian leaders - they can't admit their mistakes and failures".
GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed all these embarrassments of Georgian diplomats with Archil Gegeshidze, a politologist and an expert at the Georgian Foundation of Strategic and International Studies.
"It is pointless to challenge Carl Bildt's words. Russia as a WTO member will be a more predictable partner for Georgia, also in trade. The fact that Mr. Bildt said it in Tbilisi means that the European community wants to push the Georgian side in the direction desirable for the West in talks with Russia, using influence of the Swedish FM considered as a friend to Georgia and personally to Mikheil Saakashvili", - the analyst from Tbilisi thinks.
From this point of view, Archil Gegeshidze remarks, Grigol Vashadze's recent statement that Georgia does not need Russia sounds absurd. "Certainly, Georgia needs Russia - stable and friendly, also as a market for Georgian goods. Current state of bilateral relations is abnormal, and Georgia pays a high price for that: no access to the Russian market, threat to national security since, as the conflict in August 2008 demonstrated, nobody will protect unwanted Georgia", - the politologist ascertained.