Alasania: Georgia needs a "new way", we need Russia
According to a former Georgian ambassador to the UN, leader of the opposition party "Free Democrats" Irakli Alasania, Georgia needs a "new way". As reported by "Georgia-News", Georgian opposition leader announced this on the pages of French newspaper Le Monde. "Interpress" published excerpts from the article. In particular, according to Alasania, Sakartvelo is now at a crossroad, it needs a long-term development plan and "its Western friends can help it in this, giving friendly advice to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who is increasingly slipping into authoritarianism".
"Georgian government was forced to admit the sad truth that the country's weak institutions are limiting the liability of officials and create a disturbing "lack of democracy". Bold economic reforms, undertaken by President Saakashvili in 2004, has been abandoned and replaced with draconian measures, reinforcing the atmosphere of fear and despair. Georgia remains a poor country where the GDP is lower than in Armenia and Ukraine, and, at least every third Georgian is unemployed", says in his article Alasania.
"Attempts of the ruling elite to maintain the single state party reduce citizens' chances to participate in political debates", opposition politicians and journalists regularly face intimidation in response to their desire to question the official policy, and "corruption of the elites" remains a serious problem", Alasania stated.
Moreover, "in terms of long-term development Georgia needs to change its relations with Russia". "It (Georgia) is not the sole small country bordering Russia. Finland, for example, is the largest trading partner of Russia, and it was able to normalize their relations with them, despite the legacy of the war of 1939-1940. It will take several years and require a lot of effort", said the politician.
"The approaching anniversary of the Soviet Union's collapse reminds us an obvious thing: Georgia is a young country still searching itself. Our country learned a lot over the past two decades and now we have to enter a new phase in its development. To choose the right way is our challenge ....", concluded Alasania in his article in French Le Monde.