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Pro-Russian opposition questions the value of Georgia’s Western ambitions

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 17
Prior to the European Parliament’s session, where the Georgia-EU Association Agreement is scheduled to be signed on December 18, pro-Russian forces in Georgia and Russia caused a stir over potential dialogue between the two countries.

Head of Georgians’ Union in Russia Mikheil Khubutia claims that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin wants direct dialogue with Georgia, while non-parliamentary opposition leader Nino Burjanadze ensures that without dialogue the current government is predestined for collapse.

Khubutia states that he has direct communication with Putin.

“Delaying dialogue will result in the construction of more barbed-wire fences… As a Georgian who is active in Russia, I encourage staging dialogue in a timely manner. The dialogue will be profitable for Georgia first of all,” Khubutia said.

Burjanadze states that without dialogue with Russia, Georgia will not be formed as a state and people will starve.

“Ukraine, as well as Georgia, will not be able to solve their problems without Russia… Our aim should not be the integration with Europe, when we are linked with Russia,” Burjanadze said.

She also admits that the current government cannot hold talks successfully with Russia, as it is “incompetent.”

“Our officials are appointed whether they are liked by our Western partners or not… all the decisions are agreed upon with our Western allies. In this situation, it is impossible to speak about Georgian statehood,” Burjanadze says.

Burjanadze also suggests that the current government has ignored an offer regarding getting involved in a gas-pipeline project initiated by Russia and Turkey.

Since Russia refused to participate in the South Stream project with the EU, it started talks with Turkey on another pipeline. Burjanadze appealed to the government to urgently get involved in this project.

“The project will increase Georgia’s strategic importance, even in the eyes of the EU,” Burjanadze said.

“We should think about our interests and should not sacrifice them on account of the fight taking place between two super-states,” Burjanadze says.

On the other hand, Russia has initiated the restoration of the Abkhaz railway and says that the Russian-chaired Eurasian Union will be more useful for Georgia than the EU will be.

In the case that Georgia rejects the offers, Russia might issue alternative, more forcible methods against the country. Aside from constant threats from the Georgian occupied regions, the president of de-facto Abkhazia has demanded giving to Abkhazia the Enguri Hydro Power Station, one of the major sources of electricity for Georgia.