A conversation between Saakashvili and Medvedev
By Messenger Staff
Monday, April 30Last week, the presidents of Georgia and Russia sent indirect messages to one another. Dmitri Medvedev, whose term expires next month, gave an interview to the Russian media in which he stated that Moscow is ready to normalize relations with Tbilisi as soon as Mikheil Saakashvili resigns. He called the Georgian President an "empty place" and a "zero".
Considering that Medvedev was nothing more than a placeholder for Vladimir Putin between his terms as President, it is much more appropriate to call him a zero or an empty place. Unsurprisingly, in his final interview as President, Medvedev did not say anything new. Since the war with Georgia, it has been the Russian government line that they would not hold any dialogue with Saakashvili. In response, Saakashvili made his position clear: "If they are ready to return back to Georgia the occupied territories, withdraw their troops from there, I am immediately ready to fly wherever to sign an agreement with Mr. Medvedev (or Russia’s real governor) about the issue of my resigning from leadership as well as my government, in return for giving back to Georgia its territories".
Of course, from a public relations point-of-view, Saakashvili’s statement was indeed much better than Medvedev’s, as the Russian leader gave a negative, destructive statement, whereas Saakashvili is targeted at a positive solution of the conflict. Saakashvili’s comments also benefited his party's election campaign. Medvedev's remark could be interpreted as Russia support for the Georgian opposition, while Saakashvili made it clear that he is ready to give up his position for the sake of his country.
So Saakashvili bested Medvedev this week, repeating that Russia will do anything to change the Georgian leadership because a successful Georgia is a problem for Moscow – and they don't care about PR or image.
On the other hand some Georgian opposition keeps repeating that Russia is benefiting from Saakashvili governance.