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Geneva maze

By Messenger Staff
Monday, December 22
The third round of Geneva talks has ended with no visible result, just like the previous two. The fourth round is planned for February 17-18, 2009.

These are negotiations for the sake of negotiations. Their significance for Georgia is to enable the country to fix and maintain its position and not surrender it. Georgia has to prove to the world that it is constructive, consistent, full of common sense, peacefully oriented and has a principled position and stand that should be respected by other nations.

Analysts and journalists complain that we have very little information about the conference. “The Geneva process is not covered satisfactorily. We have little information what really goes on at the talks,” thinks political analyst Archil Gegeshidze. Indeed, although before the first round Georgian officials talked about them optimistically, the beginning and the end of the third went almost unnoticed. All we were told was that the negotiations had lasted almost 7 hours and been held in two working groups, discussing the issues of security in the region and the return of IDPs.

UN mediators are talking about progress, saying that the sides are ready to move from procedural issues to concrete topics. We don’t know what was, and is, the precondition of taking such a step. If it is the legitimization of the participation of the puppet regimes at the talks, this proves Georgia has made concessions, which the Georgian public has not been informed of by its Government.

If the mediators think that any position taken by the puppet regime’s representatives expresses their opinion they are wrong. In reality the Tskhinvali and Sokhumi puppets are manipulated by the Kremlin. Moscow feels very comfortable: it does what it wants and its effective spokespersons are called representatives of “sovereign states,” providing Moscow with the best of both worlds: if things go well, Russia benefits, if they go badly, these puppets can be blamed and sacrificed, although Russia put them there to do its bidding in the first place.

The Kremlin has in is midst experienced, Soviet KGB-trained directors who can create blood-soaked tragedies with a cynical smile. The joke in 1968 ran: “What were the Soviet tanks doing in Czechoslovakia? They were looking for the man who invited them to enter the country!” The USSR was “helping” Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan and many other countries by undertaking the “noble” task of “guaranteeing the people’s security” but everywhere it went bloodshed and injustice would be its calling card.

Unfortunately history repeats itself. The puppet leaders demand security guarantees, but only if they legitimize the presence of the Russian Armed forces. IDPs can return only if they accept South Ossetian or Abkhaz ‘citizenship,’ Georgian territory is occupied to ‘prevent Georgian provocations’ and many more absurd statements emerge from the mouths of the marionettes. The so-called Abkhaz leadership is now demanding a change in the name of the UNOMIG mission, as it is no longer to Georgia alone but the ‘independent’ states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia too, it says. Are they really unaware that the world has seen all this before?

Georgia has to continue participating in such meetings, and while it should tolerate all approaches it should not give up its position. It should not compromise its two fundamental positions: Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Russia is currently facing serious problems, the global financial crisis and ethnic unrest being big challenges for it. Eventually it will collapse. Georgia has no need to sell itself out and end up collapsing with it.