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Support for Eurasian Union sparse, but it exists

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 9
For the Eastern Partnership countries, the Vilnius Summit will be a very important event. For Georgia it is particularly crucial. The Georgian government has defined its pro-western orientation emphatically and is doing everything possible to achieve its goals. Meanwhile, there remain active forces in the country that try to drag the country in the direction of the Eurasian Customs Union headed by Russia.

Everybody knows that just a few days before the Vilnius Summit, on October 27, Georgia has to elect a new president. In addition, the powers of the new president will be substantially decreased.

Of the presidential candidates, only one, Koba Davitashvili, has offered open and sincere comments. He said he would agree with the Eurasian Union membership in return for the restoral of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Of course this statement is naive because Russia has never offered such a deal. Besides, Davitashvili has no chance to win the election.

Another candidate with more solid support, the leader of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, promises to regulate relations with Russia and take the barbed wire fences from the places where they are installed now, although she did not specify how she would achieve that.

The leader of Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili, who generally expresses a negative attitude towards Georgia’s western aspirations, does not openly express his pro-Russian sympathies either.

The candidate of the Georgian Dream coalition, Giorgi Margvelashvili, and the candidate of the United National Movement (UNM) Davit Bakradze, support European integration without an alternative and have no intention whatsoever to turn towards the North. And even though the ruling coalition consists of multiple political entities, neither of those has identified their pro-Russian interests.

However, there are a few politically-oriented NGOs who actively promote the idea of joining the Eurasian Union. They recommend holding a referendum to let the voters decide.

These forces believe that Eurasian Union membership will provide a solution to Georgia’s economic problems, as well as a precondition for restoring the country’s territorial integrity. These people have a short memory. They should recall that when in 2008 Georgia faced a military assault from Russia, both countries were the members of the Commonwealth of Independence States (CIS).

When coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili entered politics, he promised to lead the country towards the West, but at the same time he aimed to regulate relations with Russia. Let us see how it works.