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Parallels between Georgia and Ukraine

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 20
Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili mentioned the August War 2008 in the context of Ukraine during his meeting with the NATO General Secretary. Such rhetoric is rare in Gharibashvili’s speeches. The statements were followed by a positive reaction from the opposition United National Movement. However, representative of the non-parliament opposition Nino Burjanadze strongly criticized the prime minister for the statements, stressing that the wording will “discourage dialogue with Russia.”

When it came to the August War 2008, Bidzina Ivanishvili and members of the coalition accused the previous government of following an irrational policy that resulted in a military confrontation.

Such allegations caused the indignation of the United National Movement. The opposition stressed that through such accusations the coalition revealed its image as being pro-Russian.

Gharibashvili’s open statements concerning the similarities between the Georgian and Ukrainian developments pushed forward serious evaluations. The prime minister stated that the treaty that will be signed between de-facto Abkhazia and Russia is a significant problem for Georgia.

“I want to remind you that the conflict launched in 2008 and the current developments in Ukraine are a direct continuation of the process,” Gharibashvili said.

Some members of the United National Movement like Andro Barnovi responded to the statement with irony and appealed to the prime minister to be more detailed in his statements. However, fellow UNM MP Gia Baramidze stressed that the PM should have spoken more regarding the parallels between the two states.

Meanwhile, leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia Nino Burjanadze assessments were very critical. She suggested that Gharibashvili repeated the mistakes of the previous government in terms of Russia and closed the door of civilized negotiations with Russia.

She also appealed to the government to draw a clear line between EU membership and NATO. “The government should explain to its people that membership in the EU does not mean membership in NATO. The government must also think about the re-integration of the occupied territories more rather than the participation in foreign organizations,” Burjanadze said.

It is obvious that an attempt at regulating relations with Russia has not provided any real advancements in the most important issues for Georgia. Gharibashvili’s statement concerning the August War 2008 was one more confirmation of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic orientation.