The messenger logo

Russia provokes Georgia once again

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 27
Russian occupying forces have installed a notice board, indicating the so-called border between Georgia and South Ossetia, in the village of Ghogheti in the Shida Kartli region. The notice board reads that “this territory belongs to the Republic of South Ossetia".

The Russian border guards also detained two Georgian citizens for crossing the border on November 25th. The second incident occurred in the village of Khurvaleti. There were no witnesses. However, local residents claim that the two men did not cross the administrative line.

“Presumable, the Russian soldiers were on the Georgian-controlled side when they detained our neighbors. One of the detained men has a serious disease.” one local told Maestro TV.

The Georgian government insist that it will not be provoked. Presidential advisor and foreign relations’ secretary, Vano Matchavariani, stressed that the Georgian government has already informed the international community about the incidents.

“Unfortunately this all is very tragic, but we know the country [Russia] we are dealing with. We have two ways to address the problem: one is the Geneva talks and the other is to inform the foreign community. We need more confidence in the negotiation formats and we need to control the situation in order to avoid threats to the local population.” Machavariani said, noting that the incidents might be linked with the upcoming Vilnius Summit on November 28th-29th.

United National Movement (UNM) members claim that the Georgian government’s attitude towards Russia is vague and the provocations from Russia were predictable.

“The Russian government stopped the provocations in the election period as they wanted the Georgian Dream coalition to win. Once the election ended, they renewed their activities. There is nothing surprising in their actions.” MP Akaki Minashvili said.

Analyst Kakha Gogolashvili told The Messenger that Russian pressure over Georgia will become stronger.

“After achieving success with Ukraine, Russia will put more pressure on Georgia. Russia might use several methods in this regard. Russia can be aggressive and carry out provocations on the so-called borders, or use softer means. The latter would include letting Georgian businesses back into the Russian market, a visa-free regime, attracting Georgian businesses and so on.” Gogolashvili said. He added that Russia might threaten to remove privileges it has granted Georgia if the latter signs the EU Association Agreement.

“They already know which levers they will use to block Georgia’s signing of the association agreement.” Gogolashvili said.