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Saakashvili insists on negotiations

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 9
On February 6, during the Munich Security Conference President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili once again confirmed his country’s commitment on the non use of force in regards of the occupied territories of Georgia and he once again suggested dialogue with Russia. Saakashvili also appealed to the west to influence Moscow to start dialogue with Tbilisi.

The Georgian president critcised Russia which continues to ignore Georgia’s peaceful initiatives and in addition increases its military presence in the occupied territories, deploying assault technologies just 50 km away from the capital, Tbilisi. According to Saakashvili the EU and the US should use every possible means to make Moscow sit at the negotiation table. Georgia believes that the main topic of the negotiations should be Georgia’s de-occupation. Majority MP Goka Gabashvili also thinks de-occupation should be the main topic of negotiations since it is useless to start discussing some minor issues if the essential issue is ignored.

The position of Georgian leadership is challenged by the parliamentary opposition. Christian Democrat Levan Vepkhvadze thinks the ruling power is inconsistent. According to him Georgia should not be asking the west to make Russia agree to sit at the negotiation table as the west is already doing so, while the Georgian leadership insults Russia calling it a reptile and then urges for dialogue afterwards. According to Vepkhvadze such an approach damages Georgian interests.

President Saakashvili is desperate to start dialogue with Moscow as it will considerably improve his image both within and outside the country. To date Russia has ruled out any kind of negotiations with the President Saakashvili. So the current situation leads one to wonder that maybe it would be better that if after 2013 Saakashvili is no longer in Georgia’s leadership Russia would then be obliged to conduct direct negotiations. From its side, Russia labeled Saakashvili’s Munich speech as a PR stunt adding that constructive cooperation between Georgia and Russia will not take place until Mikheil Saakashvili is no longer part of the Georgian leadership. So once again the situation is in deadlock. There is no chance of negotiations apart from those held in Geneva. So the situation is simply one where we should decide in whose interests the whiling away of time belongs.