Georgian Dream facilitates relations: Russia and the West
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 9The Georgian Dream is continuing the country’s integration with the EU and NATO, but simultaneously is trying to regulate relations with Russia. Georgia’s previous leadership tried to implement the same course. However, the attempt failed. Georgia’s late President Eduard Shevardnandze, who was famous for his balanced policy, was also unable to ensure the country’s security. Both the West and Russia required more from Georgia. In fact, Georgians did not like this balancing act and finally Shevardnadze had to resign after the Rose Revolution in 2003.
Saakashvili’s administration was also trying to re-launch relations with Russia. Saakashvili tried to calm Russia down through economic concessions. He opened the door for Russian capital to flow into the country. Georgia was following the political course of aligning politically with EU and NATO, and economically with Russia. However, Georgia lost this game, as Saakashvili was trapped by a Russian-masterminded provocation that resulted in the August War in 2008. Currently 20% of Georgian territory is occupied. These developments caused aggression towards Moscow, which on its side ignored Georgia’s claims and continued its policy in the South Caucasus.
The former administration failed to gain any benefits from its policy against Russia. The current government is more flexible. It has started various negotiations with Russia. Russia’s deputy foreign minister and Georgia’s special envoy to Russia regularly meet to discuss various topics. The Geneva format of talks concerning Georgia’s occupied regions is also operating. Russia has removed the embargo on Georgian wine, mineral water and agricultural products.
The UNM criticizes the Georgian Dream for faults that had been committed by them for years. The UNM claims that the coalition had no levers to resolve problems for IDPs. The UNM forgets that their government received several billion USD to build accommodations for the IDPs, to rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, and to create jobs for IDPs. But as some analists sugest a big portion of this aid was misappropriated. The UNM criticizes the coalition saying that Georgia will not receive MAP at the NATO Wales summit in September of 2014. However, NATO refused to give grant to Georgia under the previous government as well. Former President Saakashvili even misled the people suggesting that Georgia received “something better than MAP” from the alliance in 2008.
In fact, the UNM’s confrontation with Russia resulted in lost territories, damaged infrastructure and thousands of IDPs. The worst aspect is that Georgia has no security guarantees from the international community if Russia repeats its aggression.
The current Georgian administration guesses that the West will not move a finger if Moscow threatens Tbilisi again. Therefore, Georgia has only itself to deal with its problems. Georgia meanwhile declares its commitment to continue its balancing act between the West and Russia.