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The hopes of Ivanishvili regarding Russia

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, October 11
During his pre-election campaign and even during his initial entrance into politics, leader of the Georgian Dream coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili, promised to follow the pro Western movement of the country but simultaneously try to smooth over Georgia's relations with Russia. Unfortunately the first comments made by Russian Federation leaders are not very encouraging. It looks like Moscow wants to continue its policy of occupying Georgian territories. The former ruling power– the United National Movement and their leader President Mikheil Saakashvili labeled Ivanishvili as a Russian "project." The first reaction from the Russian leadership proved that Moscow’s position does not coincide with that of Ivanishvili’s plans. However, Ivanishvili had always warned the Georgian people that the process would be long and reintegration should first begin through cultural and economic segments.

By promoting his direction, Ivanishvili and his team hope to convince Moscow that Georgia’s entry into NATO is not directed against Russia. Ivanishvili also promised as a first step that Georgian agricultural goods would be returning to Russian markets, because the world market is rather difficult for Georgian products, though Russian response to Ivanishvili’s hopes were not very warm. Chief Russian sanitary authority Genady Onishenko stated that Georgian wine has not returned to Russian market at this point. Does this mean that the Kremlin wants to frustrate Ivanishvili’s hopes? However, Ivanishvili warned his people that political dialogue with Moscow would not take place at the initial stage. Russian FM Sergey Lavrov announced after the victory of Ivanishvili’s coalition, that Moscow is not going to recall its recognition of the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. On the other hand, Lavrov cynically admitted that he expects to take steps towards the normalization of relations with Georgia.

Some analysts suggest that it was exactly Saakashvili that was the real Russian project and that it was under his leadership that Russia snatched Georgian territories and put their armed forces there and it also got hold of several strategic businesses in Georgia.