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Friday, 21 October 2016


Ukraine's dream - peace in the Caucasus?

18.07.2012  |  19:09

Ukraine's dream - peace in the Caucasus?. 27699.jpeg

After the August 2008, we use to talk about Russian-Georgian relations exclusively in the past tense. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly tried to normalize the situation, but met fierce resistance in Tbilisi. This situation has a tendency to deteriorate. The issue of the "occupation" of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is accompanied by the issue of "genocide of Circassians by Russia". Ukraine's Foreign Ministry stated it was willing to reconcile Russia and Georgia. Is it likely? GTimes reporter has interviewed experts from Russia and Ukraine on this occasion.

At a briefing at the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine the Head of Information Policy Department Oleg Voloshin stated the Ukrainian state "planned and was ready to help Georgia and Russia to reconcile". To do this, it is necessary to raise the matter in the Black See Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Voloshin pointed out it was possible "to find ways to resolve the problematic issues" between Russia and Georgia and to resume relations between these countries within the BSEC. According to the Ukrainian diplomat, his country is directly interested in improvement of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi, since both countries are Ukraine's most important strategic partners. In addition, the Russian-Georgian tensions are negatively affecting the overall situation in the Black Sea region, which directly hits the interests of Ukraine and other countries of the Black Sea region.

Kiev's statement about readiness to reconcile Moscow and Tbilisi is not baseless. A year ago, Patriarch Kirill and Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II with the participation of Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev conducted a friendly dialogue in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Dialogue of the Primates of the Church - this is a dialogue of the congregations, that is, peoples' dialogue. Shuttle diplomacy has often resolved most intense conflicts.

However, there is fly in the ointment of the statements by Ukrainian Foreign Ministry - the mention of the BSEC. The organization has entered the history of world diplomacy as a place of constant scandals among the member countries. However, Ukraine regards the format of the organization as a table of Russian-Georgian peace talks.

Vadim Trukhachev, a Russian historian, Slavic, professor of the Russian State Humanitarian University (RGGU).

"Oleg Voloshin's statement is an attempt to show that Ukraine represents at least something at the international level. It doesn't befit such country with 45 million people to stew endlessly in its own juice and to be a passive object in world politics. Current Ukrainian leadership wants to show that at some point, Ukraine can be an active subject, but it will be just an appearance. If Russia and Georgia decide to restore the relationships, they do it directly, without intermediaries. While Saakashvili is in power, the restoration of relations is impossible. If Georgia has a different President, the communication may be restored, but Ukraine won't take part in this process.

Today's Ukraine is not able to reconcile Russia and Georgia also for another reason. Official Kiev can't bring harmony to Ukraine. If they try to reconcile Georgia and Russia, the bickering inside Ukraine sharpens with even greater force. The "orange" will be for Georgia, not "the orange" - for Russia. In principle, these forces are constantly bickering on every good reason. Kiev cannot do anything.

It's very interesting how they want to reconcile Moscow and Tbilisi. Especially within the BSEC. As an expert, I know nothing of such an organization. It exists only on paper and does not manifest itself. Who in the BSEC will reconcile Moscow and Tbilisi except for Ukraine, maybe Turkey? Turkey has its own interests and pushes them very hard. Maybe Bulgaria and Romania - NATO members? It looks ridiculous. Only Brazil or South Africa have a chance to reconcile Georgia with Russia. But they are too far and have nothing to do with the BSEC".

Konstantin Shurov, Ukrainian politician, chairman of the Russian community in Ukraine.

"At one time I personally contacted with BSEC. In my opinion, has not carried out any large-scale project. Its main goal is mutual visits, mutual awareness of parliamentarians of the Black Sea, and so on. You cannot seriously believe that Voloshin's statement would help to reconcile Russia and Georgia. Friendly relations between the two countries may be restored only when the Georgian government reconsiders its position, or when the will of the Georgian people changes leadership and policy of the country. Of course, the shift of Saakashvili's regime is possible within the current Georgian legislation and in accordance with international law. I think the Ukrainian authorities need to seriously work on correcting their weaknesses and shortcomings in work with Russia, only in this case Ukraine could somehow help Russia. As for reconciliation between Moscow and Tbilisi, the Ukrainian diplomacy has no such possibilities: they have not enough power. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry should soberly assess Ukraine's position in the history and the geopolitical map".

Arthur Pryjmak

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