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Russian aggression and Georgian protests

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 30
Russia continues to conduct its aggression and its annexation of Georgian territory. The Georgian Parliament is preparing a statement for the international community which will outline Russia’s recent moves in detail. The Chair of Parliament will set up different committees to work on this statement.

The idea of making such a statement came from the opposition, specifically Vice Speaker of Parliament Paata Davitaia, who maintained that as Moscow has signed agreements with its puppet regimes to protect their 'borders' the Georgian Parliament has to draw the attention of the international community to this behaviour. The Kremlin-sponsored regimes have delegated to Moscow the right to defend 'borders' which are in fact administrative borders within the sovereign territory of Georgia, which means in reality that Russia has annexed those territories. Russia’s imperialistic moves are clear. The international community should see what is going on but does not respond adequately to the situation by demanding that Moscow leaves Georgia. On the contrary, Moscow is being given more and more leeway in different directions.

However, here it must be said that Georgia’s policy towards Russia looks somewhat strange. It acknowledges that Moscow is not suffering any disadvantage by conducting an imperialistic policy and objects to its continuing occupation of Georgian territory, but the Larsi checkpoint has been reopened, ostensibly to help Armenia but in reality to help Russia too to some extent, while Georgia gains practically no benefit from this. Moreover the Georgian authorities are ready to restore regular civil aviation flights between the two countries. There are also discussions about Georgian goods being allowed back onto the Russian market, Russian capital in Georgia enjoying equal rights, etcetera. Isn't all this an indirect acknowledgement of Russia's "new reality" that the occupied territories are gone forever? If you revive trade with your enemy, revive regular flights, open the border and the enemy is 40 kilometres from your capital and occupying 1/5 of your territory what is next? The only thing left for Georgia to do is restore diplomatic relations and recognise the ‘new reality’ formally. This is how lots of Georgians assess the current situation.

Some of the opposition think that this is the only way to reestablish civilized relations between the two countries. They also maintain that Western attempts to mollify Russia will tame the beast and ensure it behaves itself in a civilized way, leading eventually to the de-occupation of the Georgian territories. Is this the way to resolve the current situation positively? Nobody knows. But it is an option worth trying, think the supporters of this position.

Georgia is at a crossroads. On the one hand we have the ongoing occupation, on the other President Saakashvili’s administration must leave office by 2013 and Georgia will be governed by a new President. So much depends on how democratically this transfer of power takes place. If Georgia proves it can behave like a democratic state the Western attitude towards it will be formed on the basis of this. Then the West is much more likely to see Georgia as a reliable ally and Russia as a threat to be countered, particularly given the level of democracy in Russia itself. The more democratic Georgia is the less it will have to bother about Russia, and the more Russia will have to bother about the rest of the world.