Georgia against CIS31.01.2013 | 16:20
Are the negotiations over the return of Georgia into the CIS being conducted? Russian Foreign Minister argues that certain contacts on this issue took place. Georgian authorities have categorically denied this information. And Georgian opposition is demanding to adopt a special law that will consolidate Georgia's course on the Euro-Atlantic integration and refusal to return to the CIS on the legislative level. Georgian experts, in turn, believe that Moscow and Tbilisi must solve a lot of issues on the bilateral basis.
The question of the possible return of Georgia to the Commonwealth of Independent States has been much discussed after the parliamentary election on October 1, 2012. Proponents argue as follows: if the new leadership of Georgia is going to normalize relations with Russia, why not to return to the CIS to have another platform for negotiations with Moscow?
One of the first initiators of returning Georgia to the Commonwealth was the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko even said he would make every effort for this.
Obviously, Tbilisi considered Lukashenko's statements a "trial balloon", so did not actively discussed this issue. Senior leadership of Georgia only replied that this issue was not regarded. But when the media published another statement, this time by the director of the department of CIS countries of the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Evdokimov, that the Georgian leadership has been maintaining contact over the return of the country into the CIS, it was impossible to leave this question without due attention.
"If anyone is thinking about the return to the CIS, they have to do it without me", the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia David Usupashvili said in an interview with journalists. He called the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry "groundless" and stated that the foreign policy of Georgia cannot change since such is the will of the Georgian people.
He is echoed by Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani. "The foreign policy of Georgia will be unchanged: this is Euro-Atlantic integration", said Zalkaliani. "We have no contact with the Russian side on Georgia's return to the CIS", said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
To completely dispel doubts in the course of foreign policy, the parliamentary minority in the face of "United National Movement" even proposes amendments. "National Movement" is going to consolidate Georgia's focus on the integration into NATO and the EU on the legislative level, as well as to juridically fix the refusal from returning to the CIS, from the possibility of joining the Eurasian Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Georgian experts consider the return of Georgia into the CIS unrealistic at this stage. "If this issue appears on the agenda, then there should be created some preconditions, which currently do not exist", political expert Kakha Gogolashvili GeorgiaTimes. "Georgia and Russia have many problems that must be addressed bilaterally, regardless the CIS. I think that during the Russian-Georgian bilateral meetings the Minister said that it would be good if Georgia returns into the CIS or something like that. I do not think there are some consultations on the matter. Of course, Georgia's accession into the CIS will be immediately interpreted as a return under the "Russian umbrella". Naturally, Russia, which is fully controlling the organization, is willing this. But at this stage I do not think this is politically profitable for Georgia in any sense", said Gogolashvili.
"When you are talking with the representatives of the "Georgian Dream", especially with the members of the party of Irakli Alasania "Free Democrats", they say that the information about any contacts in relation to the CIS is a lie", MP from the "United National Movement" David Darchiashvili told GeorgiaTimes. "On the other hand, Ivanishvili's coalition is talking of the need to normalize relations with Russia. We all have seen the visit of Zurab Abashidze to Moscow, and we all have heard Ivanishvili's statement speaking about the advantage of Armenia's foreign policy and the importance of the restoration of the railway via Abkhazia. And Russia interpreted these statements differently. According to them, the warming of relations implies Georgia's entry into the CIS and other similar structures. So if we think logically, we, the opponents of the current government, and the Russian political establishment, are thinking this way", Darchiashvili said.