Mishiko loves Ukraine again01.11.2011 | 15:10
Pleased with temporary tiffs between Russia and Ukraine, Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili attacked the latter with a statement that Tbilisi-Kiev relations are on a record rise, unseen even at the time of "orange" Yushenko. Where does this sudden warmth come from? Does it have any grounds?
Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili now has more and more similarity with a vulture. He has a nose for quarrel and wounded relations, he goes there sparing no pains to pick out the wound. Certainly, we are now speaking about problems that periodically arise between Russia and neighboring republics - Ukraine and Belarus. It is not forgotten that when Moscow and Minsk fell out for a short time, Saakashvili was assuring the entire world of being Lukashenko's best friend.
However, hardly had Belarusians made up with Russians, when Saakashvili was left on the sidelines. Yet, the resilient Georgian leader does not learn lessons life teaches him and is now applying all his enthusiasm to impose his friendship on Victor Yanukovich, now in crisis with Kremlin. Most likely the Georgian vulture will have his beak broken.
Presently, however, Mikheil Saakashvili is actively using his beak. At a meeting with a Ukrainian delegation he stated that Ukraine and Georgia had never had such relations as they do now adding that even at the time of Yushenko the feelings were not so hot. "This is the result of joint work", - the Georgian leader added.
The Georgian delegation politely switched the talk over to a different topic asking how Georgia had managed to carry out such progressive reforms. The leader of Sakartvelo, modest as he is, explained that his government "has no ambition to be perfect" remarking shyly that Georgia is included in several international ratings. It is hard to contradict him: for instance, in the rating of countries with high elite corruption Sakartvelo holds a dignified position. Though it is unlikely Mishiko boasted of this achievement at the meeting with the Ukrainians.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked Sergey Mikheev, director general of the Center of Political Conjuncture, to comment on a sudden outburst of adoration for Ukraine.
"Frankly speaking I don't know what facts Saakashvili is referring to for he has no grounds to make such statements. I guess he simply tries to use temporary cool-down between Moscow and Kiev over the Timoshenko case. From time to time Georgia tries to take advantage of problems between Russia and Ukraine in order to acknowledge "special" relations with our neighbors. But it's difficult to say what kind of relations these are.
Ok, countries are connected through trade. With Victor Yushenko as president Georgia and Ukraine cooperated in the military sphere. But Mikheil Saakashvili definitely has no grounds to claim that Kiev-Tbilisi feelings are undergoing an incredible renaissance. Both leaders, Mikheil Saakashvili and Victor Yanukovich, are not full of mutual love either. I think the Georgian leader exaggerates. And this should be viewed as part of his verbal war with Russia. His reasoning is clear: Saakashvili is trying to show that he is on marvelous terms with Ukraine in order to spite Moscow. This is not the first time and honestly there is nothing special about it".
The expert was rather skeptical about assumptions that Georgia is trying to influence Ukraine's political direction and separate it from Russia. "Georgia has no possibility to drag Ukraine away from Russia. Over the past twenty years much more serious forces like the European Union or the States have been doing that. Yet, they fail to take Ukraine away from Russia completely. Obviously, Georgia can't play an active part here either. The best Saakashvili can do is to sing along. Georgia acts in unison with big West that resists a thaw between Moscow and Kiev. There is no resource to reorient Ukraine toward Georgia. Besides, these countries are incomparable in terms of scope".
Sergey Mikheev brought up Saakashvili's declarations of his friendship with Belarus when Kremlin quarreled with Lukashenko. "This is the same technique. It's pointless to claim that Saakashvili and Lukashenko, or Georgia and Belarus have particularly warm relations. Yet, it was good for Minsk and Tbilisi then: Lukashenko wanted to show to Moscow that he can find partners without Russia's help and Saakashvili tried to highlight that Russia fails to be on good terms even with friendly states. But all this has no serious strategic background".
The expert also remarked that complications with Russia affect Ukraine in the first place. "Kiev has brought itself to a strange situation connected with Timoshenko case and believes to get out of it. Naturally, Kiev gets irritated and nervous and tries to let off steam. But Ukraine won't make special steps toward Georgia for a simple reason: what is the direction? In reality these both states don't have enough grounds for strategic partnership. What can Tbilisi offer to Kiev? Yes, Georgian wines are sold in Ukraine, but it is not a vital need of Ukrainian consumers.
Ok, they have GUAM comprising both Kiev and Tbilisi. Yet, nothing happens within GUAM's framework. Nothing happened even at the time of Yushenko. This is complete stagnation, decay. Assistance from Western "friends" is of no help. Will Ukraine state that Georgia is its best ally and partner? Ok, if it does. But what will follow? Nothing. It's just idle talk.