Fiji Islands between Russia and Georgia02.02.2012 | 20:35
According to social polls, the happiest people live on Fiji Islands. Russia and Georgia try to find out how to make them still happier: Russia increases its influence in the Pacific Ocean, while Georgia fears to death that the island nation of Fiji might become the sixth country to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence. To prevent this event, Tbilisi is buying the aborigines by granting them netbooks produced in Georgia.
Fiji Islands are populated by just one million people but they are the happiest people on the planet. This fact was discovered by WIN-Gallup International Company in the course of a social research. 89 out of 100 Fiji feel like living in paradise, which is a true word for this Pacific archipelago as big as Lake Ladoga. For comparison, there are only 9 happy people per one hundred in Georgia, making it one of the unhappiest world countries.
Unhappy Georgia, as the country now calls itself (instead of the original "Gruzia") in all languages except the native one, has sent a delegation from the Ministry of Education to Fiji Islands to make the aborigines still happier. The descendants of the cannibals were granted 200 netbooks manufactured in Georgia. This information was first aired by Radio New Zealand International and then confirmed by the Georgian Ministry of Education.
The Georgian guests had hardly handed their presents and left the island when a Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived. He included Fiji in the schedule of his Pacific trip. Tbilisi lost courage, for now that Abkhazia and South Ossetia were recognized by other islands in the region, Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, nothing keeps Fiji from granting Russia's request.
On hearsay, recognition on Nauru's part cost Russian budget 50 million dollars. It remained unclear how Russia thanked Tuvalu but the Georgians were very disappointed with this country. At first, it declared being on Tbilisi's side, supporting international resolutions on bringing Georgian refugees back to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In acknowledgement, the Georgian government provided material aid to the Pacific country. But having spent it, Tuvalu admitted the new states in the Caucasus last year.
The state of Vanuatu was even more irresponsible. At first, Prime Minister Sato Kilman signed a recognition agreement with Abkhazia. Then the country's ambassador to UN denied the information but in a while, it was confirmed by the foreign minister. Soon, the entire government resigned and the new PM declared loyalty to Georgia's territorial integrity. However, political crisis in Vanuatu went on; Kilman came back to power and the previously signed documents came into effect again.
Tbilisi activated its diplomatic contacts in the Pacific region after all these recognitions. Head of the Georgian MFA Grigol Vashadze went on a tour of Oceania last year. Among other countries, he visited Fiji, with which Georgia set up diplomatic relationship only in 2010 trying to outrun the Abkhaz and Ossetians who were busy with seeking for those wishing to acknowledge their independence.
Vashadze met with Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Saipora Mataikabara. The parties agreed on cooperation in the sphere of trade, healthcare and education. Simultaneously, Georgians persuaded Bainimarama to make a statement of support of their country's territorial integrity and sovereignty. In exchange, Vashadze promised to render Fiji help of various kinds.
The minister kept his word and granted them 200 netbooks. Still, one cannot be sure the Fiji will not betray the Georgians. Tbilisi believes that Sergey Lavrov went to Fiji solely to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia David Dzhalagania expressed hope in this respect that Fiji would not yield to Russia's pressure and would not join the ranks of such underdeveloped countries as Tuvalu, Nauru, Venezuela and Nicaragua. "In some cases, bribes were offered openly and sometimes under the veil of a credit", - deputy head of the foreign policy administration added.
Australia and Oceania also suppose that Lavrov's visit might result in the two countries' recognition. But Foreign Policy Epecialist from Auckland University Stephen Hoadley is sure that the main purpose of the tour is the increase of Russia's influence in the Pacific regions. The Anglo-Saxons, who had been maintaining colonial slavery on the majority of islands until the 1970s of the last century and who now dominate over these small states politically and economically, do not welcome Russia's entrance in the Pacific Ocean.
"We want the southern part of the Pacific Ocean work within Pacific Islands Forum. We want these countries to keep respecting their traditional partners, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the USA and France, and we want to keep working together. Newcomers trouble waters and ask too many questions", - Hoadley explained to the journalists.