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Do you think relations between the Russian and Georgian Churches will facilitate better relations between the countries?

Monday, January 11
“I deeply believe that any relations can be facilitated, especially by Churches of different countries with the same faith. I hope some day our Churches will bring us a peaceful future with our neighbours.”
Levan, doctor, 23

“I am afraid I have to disappoint my countrymen by saying that I don’t believe there will be any kind of facilitation of relations between the two countries. Lots of things have been spoiled which can’t be improved now.”
Tamta, programme manager, 28

" Churches have always had significant influence over countries’ rulers. If the Georgian and Russian Patriarchates start close collaboration this will be the first step in improving the two countries' strained relations."
Giorgi, painter, 35

"I can’t say how these relations might improve the hostile mutual attitude of the countries, but this process should start and these kinds of steps are really appreciated."
Temur, soldier, 26

"To tell the truth, I do not believe this will work. The most important players are the ruling forces of Georgia and Russia, and while the relations between the Governments of the countries are strained general relations will not improve.
Tinatin, pensioner, 54

“Relations between the Georgian and Russian Churches remain the only bond between our countries for now. I think it is very important to maintain these relations, because in the long term the Churches might play a big role in normalising relations between Georgia and Russia.”
Tamazi, architect, 65

“I guess the Churches are not so important when it comes to politics. I don’t believe the possible visit of the Russian Patriarch will affect the tensions between Georgia and Russia, but it is a fact which should be welcomed.”
Elene, unemployed, 25

“Let’s see if the Russian Patriarch really comes to Georgia. I remember there was talk about this two months ago or so, and he did not come. His visit to Georgia will not be a huge breakthrough but will be a positive thing.”
Gia, mathematician, 41

“Well I hope so, but I do not think that the Russian-Georgian Churches' relations will facilitate better relations between the countries, because both Presidents hate each other and I think nothing will help improve Russian-Georgian relations, unfortunately.”
Nato, housewife, 35

“My opinion is no! The Russian Patriarch has not come here yet. If the Churches really wanted to reestablish the countries' relations, the Patriarch would have kept his promise and come, but he did not do so.”
Aleko, engineer, 27

“I really do not know, but certainly I hope that everything will be better than it is now. But I think the Churches cannot help us while the Governments of both countries do not negotiate with each other.”
Elizabeth, pensioner, 65