Mishiko’s gestural language01.08.2011 | 12:37
Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili keeps denying possibilities of an attack on his neighbors. Such statements are pronounced on any pretext: whether it is a speech in the UN on the situation in Caucasus or a discussion of NATO entry prospects for the republic. Yet, Mishiko is not in a hurry to subscribe to it. Russia came up with the initiative to "help" the Georgian leader suggesting that Sakartvelo sign a non-use of force agreement. What will Saakashvili say in reply? GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed that with Sergey Demidenko, a well-known Russian politologist.
Necessity to sign a document forcing Saakashvili to stay away from crusades against close neighbors has been discussed since 2008. The president of Georgia adores speculating on his peaceful intentions and attempts to set up contacts with Abkhazia and South Ossetia despite efforts of "the occupants", but he obstinately refuses to back up his words with deeds.
As it seems, Mishiko must be interested to have such a document now that Russian military bases are stationed in the Transcaucasian republics. He so often mentions "occupation" and scares the West with Russia's "imperial manners" that plans to attack small and defenseless Georgia taking advantage of Tbilisi's proximity. But no: the leader of Sakartvelo does not want to sign any papers with Sukhum and Tskhinval still referring to these towns as part of Georgia. "We simply try to survive and go ahead. That's it. Certainly small Georgia can't attack anyone, including our big neighbors of course. That would be the top of irrationality" - the Georgian leader repeats this mantra about his country. - But in order to survive we must have minimum guarantee that we have at least minimum security".
Contrary to these assurances, recently the Georgian special services have been particularly active. "Aggressive activities were noticed not only near the Abkhaz and South Ossetian borders but also, and this is especially alarming, right in the territory of sovereign neighboring republics", - Russian deputy FM Grigory Karasin says. According to the Russian diplomat, Saakashvili's agents become still more aggressive in Gal district of Abkhazia by sending saboteurs there, kidnapping people, putting pressure on residents of near-border districts that enter Georgia. Curiously enough, the provocative style of the Georgian side in near-border zones is evidenced by EU monitors in Georgia.
Karasin is sure that in this situation statements on non-use of force from Georgian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian presidents must be put to paper. "As the events of August 2008 demonstrated, the world and the region have no trust of the Georgian leader's words. Suffice to remember the armistice he announced on August 7, 2008 and violation thereof four hours later by bringing the Georgian military might on peaceful Tskhinval", - the diplomat remarks. If the West is seriously interested in stabilization of the situation in South Caucasus, Karasin continues, Saakashvili must face relevant talks and persuasion. "The question is whether his regime itself seeks stabilization", - he summed up.
Essentially, the Russian side suggests that Georgia sign a unilateral declaration of intent not to attack Abkhazia and South Ossetia bypassing the procedure of signing a trilateral document with the Transcaucasian republics. In this case Tbilisi's territorial
ambitions, albeit outdated, won't be infringed, and Mishiko's old friends - the United States and the European Union - will see how responsible the Georgian president is.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed whether official Tbilisi will do that with Sergey Demidenko, an expert at the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Evaluation. According to him, the situation will look like this: most probably Georgia won't be opposed to the principle of non-use of force in Caucasus. "But they will focus on a different side of the matter bringing certain political collisions in: they will state they won't deal with "the aggressor", or Abkhazia and South Ossetia - native territories of Georgia, alienated by force, - our interlocutor says. - Thus, Saakashvili can't reject his policy aimed at the return of the republics even formally. It will be a sort of political game, and the initiatives will remain mere gestures. As long as Georgia has current leadership, the situation won't change, there will be no headway".