The messenger logo

Georgia indignant over Putin’s border issue

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 17
The Georgian population, political analysts, politicians and the media are all indignant over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to fix the border between the Russian Federation and Georgia’s breakaway territory of South Ossetia.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry sent a protest note to Russian officials via the mediation of Switzerland. The United National Movement (UNM) criticized the current leadership regarding its concessions towards Russia which in fact did not yield any positive results for Georgia.

Tbilisi stated that the document Moscow and the breakaway territory of Tskhinvali want to create has no juridical power whatsoever. It is violation of international legislation and it has no legal right or power at all. It will not be valid and accepted by any country in the world.

The head of the parliamentary foreign relations committee, Tedo Japaridze, thinks that Putin’s initiative is arrogant. “Putin wants something that does not exist. That is his wish but there is international legislation, the international community and I think his wish and order will remain as a pure order,” Japaridze stated.

State Minister for Reintegration, Paata Zakareishvili, also believes that this is just a paper. He also highlighted that it is more important to take care of the population who live in the disputed territory, in the area of administrative border of Tskhinvali region. So, overall, it looks like the Georgian government does not think it is a threat for Georgia’s security and safety as it has no legal binding and nobody will recognize it.

Of course, Putin and the Russian policy makers also understand the real situation with the document they are planning to issue. It looks like Moscow wants to show Tbilisi and the rest of the world that the Russian position will not change and there should be no hope in Georgia that its territorial integrity will be restored. It is also a message to Tskhinvali and Sokhumi that Moscow is not planning “to surrender” either of the territories.

The Georgian leadership repeats that sooner or later justice will be restored and it will be openly said that there is no border between the Russian Federation and the Tskhinvali region. However, critics of the current Georgian government think that the government is committing many errors; there are no intensive contacts with the Caucasus peoples Diaspora in Georgia and no direct dialogue is being conducted with Abkhazians and S. Ossetians.

Opposition leaders think that while Russia continues its occupation of Georgian territories, the Georgian side talks about the cultural relations between the two countries.

The current government is being criticized by the pro-Russian forces as well, who think that nothing has changed in Georgia’s politics, as it remains western-oriented and therefore, Moscow does not want to take any steps towards reconciliation.

Presidential candidate Koba Davitashvili goes further, suggesting that Georgia should say “no” to NATO accession if Moscow returns its occupied territories. However, such developments are very much unlikely to take place. President Mikheil Saakashvili suggested almost the same just before the War with Russia on 08/08/08. The Georgian leadership was deceived.

In the end, the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity will not take place in the near future. Nothing radical will be changed in Russian politics and occupied territories. However, this should not push the Georgian leadership towards taking adventurous steps.