Expert: Georgia wants to split Russia
The head of Moscow's Center for Military Forecasting Anatoly Tsyganok believes that Georgia's attempts to extend its influence in the North Caucasus is aimed at splitting Russia.
"Last year Georgia signed the document that residents of the Caucasian republics have the right to be in Georgia. In fact it's a unique moment - thus they try to split the entire Russian Federation", the expert said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes.
Recall, the decision of the Georgian authorities to abolish the visa regime, enacted in late last year, touched the people of Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia - Alania, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Adygea. According to the decision of Tbilisi, they may stay in the country without a visa within 30 days.
This initiative has provoked sharp criticism of the Russian authorities and representatives of the Georgian opposition. Thus, the leader of the party "Democratic Movement - United Georgia" Nino Burjanadze expressed her dissatisfaction with the decision of the Georgian authorities to provide the residents of the North Caucasian republics the right on visa-free visit.
The party headed by Burjanadze circulated a statement, which stressed that the decision of the President of Georgia on unilateral abolition of visa regime will not work without the consent of Russia and "would not be able to perform any humanitarian mission".
At the same time Burjanadze called the decision of the Georgian authorities a "provocation".
In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also called this proposal a "provocation". A deputy presidential envoy to the Russian Federation in the North Caucasus Federal District Arkady Yedelev noted that such issues should be discussed at the bilateral level, "and not to be adopted at the whim and will of Saakashvili".
In the opinion of one of the leaders of the oppositional "Georgian Party" Sozar Subari, a statement, that Georgia's mission is to free the North Caucasus from the Russian Federation, is nonsense. "The authorities have not figured out what it can give their country", Subari said, commenting the abolition of visa regime.