The messenger logo

Burjanadze suggests dialogue with Breakaway populations

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, August 11
We want to see Russia fully adhere to its obligations under the cease-fire agreement - US State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley said on August 9, at a press briefing in Washington.

“When the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was in Georgia recently, she reiterated our strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and she called on Russia to recognise its commitments under the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement mediated by French President Sarkozy and signed by both President Medvedev and President Saakashvili, There is a Geneva process through which, periodically, these issues are being considered. The United States encourages Russia to cooperate fully and meet its obligations under the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement,” Crowley stated.

However, based on Russian officials’ recent statements and activities, the de-occupation of the Georgian territories is not among the current plans of the Russian ruling forces. As President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev has stated the recognition of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia remains a topical issue for Russia. He even found time to pay a visit to Abkhazia when the situation in Russia from the heat, fires and smog is unbearable and when the ratings of Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are falling in the federation. Based on public polls carried out in Russia by the Fund - National Opinion and Levada Centre, compared with the results of September 2009, ratings of the two leading Russian politicians have reduced by around 10-11%. 20-21% of Russians questioned expressed dissatisfaction with Putin’s and Medvedev’s activities and decisions.

Georgian-Russian relations and the future prospects were the main issue of the Conference of Public Assembly of Representatives held at Vere Palace on Monday. The organisation members, consisting of famous society members and analysts discussed the outcomes of the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008 and prospects for resolution of the conflict. The meeting was also attended by the former speaker of the Georgian Parliament and leader of the oppositional Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze. She stated those who consider that Georgian-Russian relations should not be settled does not wish good for the country, “Who thinks that Russia does not exist for Georgia is silly or does it deliberately to assure Georgians that reintegration of territories is unexpected,” Burjanadze said and added that the Georgian people are poorly informed about the real picture of the 2008 August war. “The idea of the Public Assembly is significant as it is the way to give society the correct information. If we want to reintegrate our territories everything should be given its name. Truth must be told- who made the mistakes and what mistakes were made,” Burjanadze said.

The Public Assembly of Representatives decided that direct dialogue with Abkhazian and Ossetian people should take place, “We have made a decision regarding the necessity for direct dialogue with those people. We will choose people from the Assembly who have right and means to go there and launch dialogue,” Gogi Kavtaradze, Head of Public Assembly, said.

According to analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze, Georgia should gain the trust of the Abkhazian and Ossetian people, “What has happened with us is the result of irrational behaviour. We have been trying to reintegrate Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia for 20 years. Too many songs have been written about the nostalgia of the sea there, however not a word has been said about the nostalgia of Abkhazian and Ossetian people. First of all Georgia should gain their trust and after this it will be less important who will be the leaders of those regions,” Sakvarelidze said.

Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili told The Messenger, there will be no positive moves in Georgian-Russian relations unless both the countries realise and admit their mistakes, “There are two great weaknesses on both sides and a diagnosis is necessary so appropriate treatment may be carried out. In actual fact it is important to clarify the real reason why Russia attacked Georgia, what was provoked this attack. The main characteristic of the Russian-Georgian confrontation is lies. Both sides avoid admitting their mistakes. Should that process continue, real, positive moves in Russian-Georgian relations cannot be expected,” Tsiskarishvili said.