Foreign Policy orientation of Georgian Dream
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 13The opposition Georgian Dream, headed by Bidzina Ivanishvili, is in fact the only force in Georgia's political landscape capable of replacing the current Rose Administration. Therefore, a lot of criticism and confrontation from the United National Movement (UNM), as well as other political entities is targeted towards the Georgian Dream. The main tool used the UNM against the Georgian Dream is labeling the opposition coalition as being pro Russian and accusing it of intending to bring Georgia into Moscow's orbit.
However, the supposed foreign policy orientation of the Georgian Dream has been declared many times by its leader, as well as by other leaders during the initial days of the formation of the coalition.
Apart from claiming its devotedness to Georgia’s pursuit NATO and the EU, Ivanishvili has provided the additional promise to regulate relations with Russia. According to him, under his governance Georgia will stop using confrontation rhetoric and will attempt to persuade Moscow that Georgia’s NATO aspirations will not be targeted against Russian interests, and as a result, Georgia will be able to gradually restore its territorial integrity.
In his recent interview, Bidzina Ivanishvili stated that Georgia’s future is destined for integration into the Euro Atlantic alliance, but the regulation of relations with our neighbors is necessary– particularly in the case of Russia. The sequence of the regulation of relations with Russia according to Ivanishvili is as follows:
Stop aggressive rhetoric and begin dialogue with Russia on opening its markets to Georgia, returning the occupied territories Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, convincing Russia that Georgia’s NATO membership will be no threat to Russia. There are some difficulties in implementing this however. Opening of the Russian market to Georgia could be achieved faster, as for restoring territorial integrity, this looks more complicated and this issue is connected deeply with Georgia’s NATO membership aspirations.
In accusing the Georgian Dream for its supposed pro- Russian orientation, critics highlight several arguments. Most important is the origin of Ivanishvili’s capital which was accumulated mainly in Russia. And this could have not become possible without the support of Putin. The next argument is the eclectic configuration of Georgian Dream members which is an amalgamation of such parties and politicians who have different views on various issues. For instance, Republicans are a consistent pro NATO force, whereas leader of the Industrialist party Gogi Topadze is against Georgia’s NATO integration. Some critics of Georgian Dream suggest that there are many controversies on the issue of who started the military activities in 2008. So, it is very difficult to predict who will eventually lead the parliament and which proportion, but one thing is for certain– the current Georgian leadership is absolutely unacceptable for Russia for leading dialogue and this dialogue by the way is one of the recommendations for the Georgian leadership from its western allies.