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What kind of relations should Georgia have with the separatist regimes and the people living there?

Thursday, December 17
“I think we should have a good relationship with the people living there. We must be tolerant and help them when they need it.”
Inna, interpreter, 20

“I doubt that our Government will achieve any result by complicating the situation and resisting talking to the separatists. I think it will be better to hold negotiations with them.”
Mariam, pupil, 18

"Most of the people living in Georgia may say that we should have nice relations with them, but this does not depend on only one side. If the separatist regions continue collaborating with the Russian Government, we will never have positive relations."
Gia, historian, 41

"The Georgian side should not strain the situation and should try to find some peaceful ways to proceed, as the only side which profits from confrontation between Georgia and the separatist regions is Russia."
Ana, musician, 34

"Georgia should not cause any kind of confrontation. But the main issue is that the separatist regions are trying to strain the situation all the time. Many countries are involved in Georgian-South Ossetian and Abkhazian relations, which onlyo strains the situation more."
Nodar, archaeologist, 45

“I think we should be a bit more flexible. It seems our Government’s position towards our breakaway regions is too strict. We should be able to talk to the secessionist leaders. Of course they are illegitimate, but we should admit that they have some power, backed by Russia.”
Gocha, lecturer, 54

“The separatist regimes should be treated as they are treated now, with no recognition and no honour. As for the people living there, we should consider them citizens of Georgia and treat them as Georgian citizens.”
Ia, PR specialist, 29

“We should negotiate with them but not forget that they are separatists. I think our Government’s current policy is good enough.”
Lana, student, 22

“I am not a chauvinist or nationalist but I will tell you one thing…If they want to suck up to Russia so much let them do it. In the end they will be in the situation the Abkhazians are in now and then they will understand what they have done. I think Georgia must leave them. If they want to be with Russia, very good. It is not necessary to shout everywhere that Ossetia is part of Georgia, it is not unfortunately.”
Vanda, journalist, 25

“With the separatist regime we cannot have good relations but with people living there we can have normal ones, because everyone there should realise that it is impossible to have good relations after what has happened and is happening. This is very bad, because Ossetia is part of Georgia, as history shows."
Anna, housewife, 46

“Georgia must have respectful relations with the separatist regimes. If we cannot get them back we should at least have friendly relations with them.”
Maia, singer, 28