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From Georgia


Friday, 14 May 2010

images/stories/articles/portrets/abashidze.jpgZurab Abashidze – I cannot share the position that America turned away from its partners in Eastern Europe and in Post Soviet Area.

‘InterPressNews’ interviewed the Doctor of Science Zurab Abashidze on the reality of the allegations about formulating new political reality in Eurasia after Russia-Georgian August War of 2008, ‘Ukraine’s Putinization, Kyrgyzstan events developed for the profitability of Russia, the cold US-European relations and the ‘reset policy’ announced by Washington in relation with Russia and whether Tbilisi is tête-à-tête before the Kremlin and whether old Europe shares the New Security Plan of the US Vice-President Joseph Biden or not.

- Mister Zuarb, after Russian-Georgian war and the activeness of Russia at the Eurasian political arena, I have an impression that there formulates new political reality in the world. Do you share this opinion that the European structures reveal complete impotence towards Russia and Russia is more important for America than Georgia? Is Georgia tête-à-tête before Russia?

- I cannot share the idea, that the events have been developed in Kyrgyzstan, Poland and Ukraine are the single chain of the changes. That is not true. We have specific events in each of the mentioned occasions and I do not suppose it to be right to relate everything with Russia.

In fact, the present Russia is not what it had been 10-15 years ago. The serious ambitions of Russia were silhouetted. The goals of the Kremlin are written in the strategic documents of Russia that are available for us. I mean the doctrine of foreign policy of Russia. Moscow has privileged interests in its neighboring states that had been confirmed by August War of 2008.

There had been many talks on setting up multi-polar world for the single leadership of America is unacceptable for Russia. Russia had certain supporters in that point of view. Gradually the world becomes multi-polar indeed. Though, it is another thing whether Russia will be competitive in such world or not.

The most significant event after August War was the creation of new reality in Ukraine. Many oppose the idea, but I suppose the greatest break for Russia had been the outcome of Ukraine’s presidential elections within the last 10 years.

The fact is that all of a sudden the EU revealed operativeness in due time of August War. We all remember the role of the President Sarkozy in August 2008. The EU passed fast resolution on deploying the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia. But on the other hand, the resources of the EU are restricted. Sarkozy-Medvedev-Saakashvili Treaty is unperformed again, Russia has not withdrawn its troops from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region yet, and Russia has already recognized the independence of Abkhazia and the so called South Ossetia. There had been the talks on imposing certain sanctions against Russia but the EU seems to leave the question open in the latest period.

There are many reasons for it. Essential are the economical problems on the EU. We witness the processes on Greece. That might spread in the other states as well as. We should also point out that Germany, France, Italy and Spain have special new relations with Russia. Europe is not ‘united monolith’ having single position. There are diversities on different questions in the EU.

But I cannot share the position that America turned away from its partners in Eastern Europe and in Post Soviet area. That is not right. On the one hand, Washington launched the ‘resent policy’ in relation with Russia and on the other hand, it emphasizes its firm position not consenting to the spheres of influences. Obama and the other officials fixed this position for many times. Biden also reiterated it while making his speech in the Parliament of Georgia.

- As I understood Europe has already adjust with the ambitions of the Kremlin on the post soviet area while Washington continues making the old policy over the mentioned area again…

- Such ‘Algorithm’ is a bit simple one for me, but in fact that is true. The changes taking place in Ukraine are the merit of Ukrainians. The West may assist you but the state cannot be erected by the others. If Ukrainians deny the NATO membership, it will be the decision of Ukrainians not of the West.

- How would you evaluate the letter of Joseph Biden published by American outlet ‘International Herald Tribune’ dealing with European new security plan? Will the old Europe support to the new initiative of Washington at the background of the cold US-European relations?

- The publication of Biden is a part of the significant process of European security issue. You may remember when Russia proposed its views on European security after August War. Talks deal with the formation of new mechanism because of the disability of the old system. NATO Director General and the US Administration made the statements confessing the disability of the existed European security system. The existed system failed to prevent August War and happened what should not have been happened. As a result, the sovereignty and the borders of Georgia had been violated.

But the West supposes the transition of the existed system is inadmissible but it should be improved. The West did not categorically deny launching the discussions on the security issues with Russia. Biden’s publication is detailed response to the initiative of Russia. There are considered 4 positions with the meaning of the new views on European security. It is significant that there are talks about the correlation of the sovereignties in Biden’s letter. The size of a state does not matter for any state has equal rights. There are also the talks about the inadmissibility of the spheres of the influences and that every state has the right to find its place in the security system which is acceptable for that one.

Biden speaks about the formation of new mechanism in OSCE frames which will react operatively in case of any kind of conflict. It deals with the prevention, regulation and the management of the conflict. In my mind, the views expressed by Biden are inconformity with the Europeans ones. It is essential for there should be passed new strategic conception of the Alliance in autumn. Therefore, the harmony between the approaches of the West and the USA is essential.

- Mister Zurab, you have expressed very interesting opinion on Russian-Georgian relations half month ago – ‘there should be worked out general formula about the relations with Russia’ – was your opinion responded either by the authorities or by the opposition?

- I cannot tell you anyone was interested in it indeed. Anyway I have not heard anything about such kind of interests yet.

- Mister Zurab, what might mean the statement of President Medvedev that Russia should be ready for the conflict with the scope of the World War II? For what does Russia prepare?

- I cannot consider the statement of President Medvedev to be the indication of the preparations for new war. I regard it was hypothetic evaluation indicating to the dangers of commencing the catastrophe like World War II in the world and Russia should be ready for it.

The statement may have been calculated at the internal consumers indicating to the necessity of the further consolidation of Russia. Anyway we should not be too jealous. You know American militaries also participated in the parade dedicated to May 9. I see Russia is giving the hand to the West by means of the statement.

- There are many significant processes within the domestic political life of Georgia. The protest moods are not strong in the society any longer, but there are possibilities of taking place undesirable processes in the country?

- If we choose the general formula there will be taken place the transitions in the country but at the background of maintaining the stability. We should not admit new revolution, chaos and disturbances and such approaches will facilitate the further prosperity of the statehood. Another new violence will completely dissolve the state.

As for the authorities, we have discussed much on the matter. Let’s see how the elections will be held. It will reveal the readiness of the government for performing its pledges before Georgian and international society. As for the opposition, majority of them are still in 90th failing to find their place or function in the modern politics and reality. That is why I suppose the opposition will have to do much from the very beginning after the elections.

There should be set up great centralized unity. I cannot tell you this time what I mean but it will be disclosed after the elections. There are certain configurations of those powers taking the normal positions in that point of view. I suppose the unity of those powers will soon be on the agenda. I mean the unity of the centralized powers which will play the role of stabilizer of the society in due time of the cataclysms.

Koba Bendeliani


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