Thomas de Waal: Saakashvili is the magician
In Misha the Magician article by Thomas de Waal, published in The National Interest, the author positively rates the actions of the Georgian president.
Senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told about his visit to Georgia, finished past week.
He underlined that today Saakashvili is the undisputed leader of the country. "He is by turns Ataturk (the state builder), George W. Bush (the neocon), Zviad Gamsakhurdia (the nationalist) and Vladimir Putin (ruthless centralizer). He also reminds me of Bill Clinton, the natural communicator, and of Boris Yeltsin, who also squared political circles that others never managed to," de Waal said and called Saakashvili a "magician".
The British expert also underlined that Saakashvili manages to cooperate with absolutely different political leaders, be they U.S. Republicans, Iran, president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenka. "He is the man who talks about building "Switzerland with elements of Singapore" (low taxes, minimal government) but is also pursuing a free-trade agreement with the European Union (requiring massive new regulation and harmonization with the EU). The same leader talks about traditional values and protecting Georgian culture but is also the author of a shiny new glass bridge disfiguring the old town in Tbilisi, which would be more at home in Atlanta, Georgia".
"In almost all policy debates-the economy, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, relations with the European Union, social issues-Saakashvili manages to be on both sides of the debate. He was even recently quoted as saying that if he were the opposition he would be causing the government all sorts of problems. Truly he is the postmodern president," the article says.
Previously Thomas de Waal claimed that resumption of Russian-Georgian relations would be possible only after Saakashvili's leaving the position of the president.
"Actually, Putin and Medvedev on one part and Saakashvili on the other part have given up bilateral relationship for lost. I believe, we can speak of some minor covenants on the frontier and so on but we have to wait for a new president. It would be good if the new president were less authoritative to resume a healthy dialogue", the expert underlined.
"I think Moscow realizes the necessity of dealing with the Georgian president but they simply cannot stand Saakashvili physically. Even if he stays as prime minister, the main figure of the county will be the new head of the state, with whom it will be possible to deal", - he added.