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Prospects of the dialogue with Russia

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, January 6
In the end of 2010, president Saakashvili of Georgia (a couple of times) aired his initiative to start dialogue with Moscow. No preconditions were put forward by the Georgian side.

The Russian reaction was very specific. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Russia was ready for open relations with Georgia and even for the restoration of diplomatic relations. “We did not cut diplomatic relations with Georgia even after Saakashvili ordered the attack on South Ossetia,” Lavrov stated. As it is known, diplomatic relations were cut with Russia by the Georgian side after August 2008, when Moscow launched a full scale military attack on Georgia. After that, Georgia declared several times that no dialogue with Russia would be possible without the de-occupation of Georgian territories. However, in his latest statements Saakashvili has not mentioned de-occupation, but it was mentioned that one of the major issues of the negotiations would be the discussion of steps targeted towards the de-occupation of Georgian territories. In Lavrov's above mentioned statement, there were words mentioning the change of government in Georgia. The Russian Foreign Minister in particular expressed his hope that someday, the Georgian people would elect leaders whose major concern would be protecting the interests of its own country, establishing good relations with its neighboring people and the protection of all nationals within Georgia.

So, Lavrov waits for Georgia's change in leadership. However, the closest official parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2012 and presidential elections for 2013. Moreover, Georgia’s current leadership does not have the slightest intentions of giving up power and is doing its utmost to secure a victory. It is also highly probable as well that Saakashvili will move from the president’s armchair to the PM’s armchair.

By the way, the Georgian leadership and Saakashvili himself accuse the Kremlin of interfering in the internal affairs of its neighboring country.

As for Georgian-Russian relations after the occupation of Georgian territories, Moscow attempted to gain international recognition of the so called new reality, meaning the two puppet regimes would become independent states in Georgia. As parliament speaker David Bakradze stated at the end of 2010, all disputes about the results of the 2008 Russian invasion were finished. Russia has spent a lot of political, financial, and diplomatic resources to convince the world that Georgia was an aggressor and Abkhazia and South Ossetia were victims. However all of the civilized world accepted and acknowledged the term "occupier" in regards to Russia, highlighting that it is illegally occupying Georgian territories. Now, there is no doubt around the world about what happen in 2008, who is the victim and who the aggressor is. Everything is clear; Russia received deserving term of an occupier. The term "occupation" has established itself not only in the words of world leaders but in legal documents as well. Together with this term, another term has also received international recognition. This is the word which reiterates the ethnic cleansing which Russia conducted against Georgians in the disputed territories.

In different documents adopted by parliaments of various countries, NATO PA, and the Council of Europe has established in their resolutions that the Georgian territories are occupied and such assessments are accepted worldwide.

So presumably, Georgia will carry on with its policy of non recognition of its territories by other countries, and will promote the term occupation in regards to Russia occupying Georgian territories. Therefore, Georgian-Russian relations will continue to be rather tense. Moscow’s position meanwhile will be the continuation of its occupation, illegally building up its military presence in the above mentioned territories and will make attempts to receive support from the Georgian population. These are the major prospects for 2011 in regards to Georgian-Russian relations.