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Soso Tsiskarishvili – Self-critics should be the ground for recovery to enrich the democracy

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Monday, 28 December 2009

images/stories/articles/portrets/soso_tsiskarishvili.jpg‘InterPressNews’ interviewed the politologist Soso Tsiskarishvili about the most significant events of 2009 in the domestic and foreign policies of the state, the results of the government-opposition confrontation-cooperation, the major mistakes made by the government and the opposition in 2009 and the possible perspectives in 2010.

- In your opinion, which was the most significant event of 2009 in the domestic policy and why?

- In my opinion, the most significant process was the unprecedented long-termed protest rallies of the opposition in spring. It took more than three months that conspicuously revealed the problems of the state before the international community. But there were two kinds of evaluations of the events – the government wished to show the fact of its patience and tolerance as the initial sign of ongoing democratic processes in the country, but the reality was radically different – the government’s repressions replaced from day hours into darkness. Dozens of crimes committed by the authorities against the rally participants had not been relatively seen in the Western media. Despite everything I suppose the spring protest rallies were successful events that revealed the potentiality of the protest society along with the government’s real actions.

The first result of the protest rallies is the fact that there reduced the illusions of the government’s democratic aspirations. There revealed the government’s aspiration towards the false challenge of the dialogue. As soon as the opposition consented on the dialogue, the government lost the appetite of any kinds of negotiations at once. Our foreign partners could not happen to ignore it. The accredited diplomats in Georgia openly speak about it in private conversations but in the frames of diplomatic ethics.

- What can be considered to be the most significant event of 2009 in the foreign policy and how it effected on Georgia’s international status?

There cannot be singled out any concrete event for the process is very interesting that stretched for a year after War. The results of the process are absolutely prominent – Russia forgot about Sarkozy-Medvedev Agreement, the West maintained only the term on the inevitability of Sarkozy-Medvedev Agreement performance and Georgia remained alone before the deplorable reality as in summer of 2008. There had not been any kind of breaks in the foreign policy for Georgian state in 2009. Geneva processes turned into ineffectual actions, though ineffectual for Georgia but not for the other sides. The domestic problems automatically attracted the attention of the government. It is hard to evaluate the fact when 15 months passed after war, but we have not realized yet how to contact with our neighbors Abkhazians, Ossetians, Russians, Armenians and Azerbaijanians. We do not have the neighboring position about the future of Caucasus. This is caused by one reason that concerns Georgian society – this is preservation in one’s own power. There had been done maximum in foreign and domestic policies in that direction; I mean the attempt to distract our high rank guests’ attention from the problematic issues.

- What mistake did the government make in the domestic policy in 2009?

- I consider Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian problems to be the major mistakes made in the domestic policy. The conflicts between Tbilisi and Sokhumi and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali should not be discussed only at the level of the international relations. This is very unprofitable for Georgia. We failed to mark off Abkhazian and Ossetian problems. The demonstration of Sokhumi and Tskhinvali as twins in relation with Georgia is Russian trap. Tbilisi turned out to trap again that hardens the development of the positive processes for Georgia. The conflicts have absolutely different historical background. It is all the same for those powers who are satisfied by the present results. The biggest mistake is the reluctant attitude towards the democracy. The government does not consider people to be its partner while making foreign and domestic policies.

- What mistake did the government make in the foreign policy in 2009?

- The major mistake made in the foreign policy is the incapacity to conduct bilateral relationships with Moscow, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. Geneva negotiations are oriented not to draw results for Georgia. If Georgia managed to conduct negotiations with Moscow, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali, I am sure there would be better understanding of the existed problems and perspectives.

- There constituted ideas in Georgian reality that we should have got lessons from the relations between Russia and Europe; Russia does not wish dialogue with Saakashvili. But there should be found certain forms of relations with Russia. What do you think about it and what kind of expectations might we have from the bilateral relations?

- There is no alternative of restoring the bilateral relations with Russia. Russia is unimaginable to make a statement to be occupant that it apologizes, withdraws troops, pays contribution etc. The Kremlins’ policy is acutely formulated towards Georgia. This policy aims at ignoring Georgian authorities and maintaining the contacts among certain public groups Russia to be shown as peacekeeper bear at the international arena. The contacts with Russia are admissible only among the realists with critical attitudes. Any kind of contact with the apologists of one’s own country is predestined to serious tension. We know the Kremlin’s massage – let’s talk about everything except of the territorial problems (and about the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia). Any kind of consent on such dialogue from Georgia side constitutes doubt towards one. Open contacts are acceptable where any kinds of issues will be considered. Contacts are necessary but they should not be the offer of the menu ordered in the Kremlin or Avlabari Residence. It should be the free contacts among free persons, for the character of Russian democracy is worse than Georgian one. If the democracy is not the major issue of the relations, none of the questions will be settled.

- What mistake did the opposition make in relation with the government? You advised the opposition to put agitations aside and work out the plan B in case of losing the elections. What chances does the opposition have in the elections?

- First of all I should stress that Georgia opposition revealed the unity and organization for a long-termed period that deserves great respect indeed. Everyone may make mistakes but the major mistake of the opposition was the derivation of the extreme expectations in people. I mean the selection of the sacred dates for holding the rallies. The dates are determined by the protest mood not by the red dates in the calendar. This happened because the opposition did not have the practice of joint actions. They turned out to be the captives of people’s order. Their unity soon disrupted. Today the representatives of the opposition may confront with one another. There are many subjects of the confrontation within the opposition than the goals that might unite them. The parties should not foresee the perspectives of developing the events in the country only from the interests of their own.

- What kind of domestic and foreign policies might Georgia make in 2010?

- 2010 will be another test for Georgian democracy. There is no sign the government to take any step towards the democracy at the end of the year. The government is locked in the magic circle created itself and seems to feel comfortable there. The battle for the democracy will continue. Our partners in the West can play significant roles in it. Today there is no problem of communication but we should not hope there to be made acute changes in relations with Russia. We shall have hard year in 2010. But we should pass this year for rehabilitation. Only self-grief along with the parallel cunning in the darkness will not obtain worthiness to anyone. We should seek the reason inside us. Self-critics should be the ground for recovery to enrich the democracy.

‘InterPressNews’
Koba Bendeliani

 
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