Georgia getting disaccustomed to Abkhazia and SO05.08.2011 | 22:37
Georgian society gradually becomes conscious of the need of a dialogue with the Abkhaz and South-Ossetian government. Political experts and public and cultural activists are less afraid to voice their opinion that Tbilisi should give up the groundless neglect of the two republics' current government and start direct negotiations with Tskhinval and Sukhum. However, some initiatives of the opposite party are already considered to be late there. The fact was stated to GeorgiaTimes correspondent by South-Ossetian political expert Inal Pliyev.
South-Ossetian political expert Inal Pliyev.
In three years, Georgia has drastically changed its attitude to the "five-day war". As soon as it was over, there was even some burst of patriotism in the republic despite the army's total defeat. The government knowingly traded on the anti-Russian sentiments growing in the society but Tbilisi never realized that it's impossible to play this card forever. Various provocations addressed at Moscow gradually caused surprise and finally were rejected even by those who used to enjoy setting the Russian tricoloured flag on fire in the Georgian squares. The political elite's triumphant exclamations often gave rise to baffled questions: what kind of "victory" is it since it means the official loss of territories? The situation was aggravated by the fact that Saakashvili and his associates' speeches stopped inducing the numerous favourable comments on the part of the former western allies.
The official authorities' attempts to imitate the negotiating process with Abkhazia and South Ossetia and thus smooth the failure in the war were unsuccessful either. The reason was the government's inability to admit the fact that Sukhum and Tskhinval are lost forever for Georgia as subordinate territories. Tbilisi needs finding new approaches; the idea gradually being realized by the local expert community. An experienced political expert Mamuka Areshidze made a statement that came like a bolt from the blue: he proposed to acknowledge the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It should seem that after he was pulled to pieces, it would take long before such ideas would be again aired in the Georgian media community. But reality was different. The voices calling to the possible reconsideration of relations with the two republics sound louder now. A well-known conflict expert Paata Zakareishvili has flayed the country's policy in respect of Tskhinval and Sukhum.
"We need to make some steps, that's a fact; and we need to explain their necessity to the people. Do we really expect getting Abkhazia and South Ossetia back without making any concessions?! 20 years have passed and we must think well about it. The resentful should remember these 20 years and what was done after the military actions were over. It is so easy to deny everything. I have been working in this field for 20 years and I've never met anything except the rejection of my ideas. We are ultimately sinking in our own bog", - he stated.
"What we got in South Ossetia in August 2008 is the result of a huge political mistake that allowed Russia to get in Kodorskoye Gorge, acknowledge both regions as independent states, execute an international agreement with them and use it as a basis to bring in its troops", - the expert also underlined.
In Zakareishvili's opinion, one of the possible steps to help start a dialogue between Tbilisi and Sukhum is the opening of the borders, primarily on the Georgian side. However, according to a well-known South-Ossetian political expert Inal Pliyev, such initiatives are obviously late.
"Opening the borders won't basically alter the situation. To improve relationship between South Ossetia and Georgia, official Tbilisi should give up its revanchist rhetoric and provocations in our territory, while the Georgian politicians' statements make an impression that they still live in the past. They suggest steps that have long been out-of-date", - the expert said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes.
He is sure the Georgian society realizes the fact that RSO has never been under Tbilisi's control, except for the Soviet period. "In the USSR times, there was nothing national or historical here; it was a purely politico-administrative matter. All these years we've been assured that it was done solely for the reason of communication problems, for the communication with South Ossetia was possible only through Roksky passage. But in fact, Tbilisi wanted to eternalize the situation of South Ossetia's temporary subjection to the Georgian SSR. Our republic stopped being its part afterwards", - Inal Pliyev said.