Vasil Chkoidze – Ancient states of Europe cannot realize Russian dangers

Saturday, 13 February 2010

images/stories/articles/portrets/vasil_chkoidze.jpg‘InterPressNews’ interviewed the president of European Integration Research Centre Vasil Chkoidze on new political reality of Euro Atlantic area after France sold ‘Mistral’ to Russia and what can Georgia do to intensify its security.

- IPN: Mr. Vasil, France confirmed the fact of selling ‘Mistral’ to Russia; therefore, Paris did not take into account traditional partners positions and ignored their pretensions. There is a new political reality in many terms… The fact is that Paris guided in accordance with its commercial interests but what are the political aspects of it?

- VCH: I cannot say that the situation has radically changed but the fact that NATO member state sold the military technique to Russia might become the ground for new reality. Certainly, it is a negative precedent for Georgia but we should not give up cooperation with France. France is NATO and EU member state and our cooperation will continue but the fact should be outlined at all international organizations and forums. We should remind everyone that Russia directly spoke about applying the ‘Mistral’ against Georgia while purchasing it. The purchase of ‘Mistral’ by Russia at such background is dangerous for Georgia and the fact should have been taken into account by France.

Our policy should be active; we should raise French precedent on the agenda not to become biased for the other ancient states of Europe. Georgia is not alone; our position is shared by Baltic States, Poland, Central and Eastern European States. Therefore, we should endeavor the precedent not to be biased for the others.

- IPN: there is an impression that the diversities among NATO member states in relation with Russia will intensify for the ancient states of Europe attempt to deepen the relationships with Russia while the so called new states of Europe are skeptical about the perspectives of relations with Russia…

- VCH: there are several factors in that point of view. One is the fact that Europe is depended on Russian energy resources; the other is out-of-dated stereotype that Russia is global player that is not in conformity with the reality any longer. Russia had become the secondary state long time ago but the out-of-dated stereotype of Russia still lives in the ancient European states and they think the Kremlin should be taken into consideration as before.

Besides, the ancient European states fail to realize Russian dangers. The talks on Russian dangers are considered to be exaggerated in the ancient capitals of European states. The ancient Europe has the feeling of security from Russia and reveals a deficiency of solidarity towards Central, Eastern and post Soviet states. The mentioned deficiency might bring out serious disputes among NATO member states. But it acquires the providence of the suitable arguments on Russian aggression. Talks as if Georgia is guilty in August War indicate the fact that the ancient European states fail to realize Russian dangers towards Eastern European states along with the post Soviet ones that will threaten their security as well as.

- IPN: according to the spread information, Georgia also planned to purchase ‘Mistral’ from France but Russia seemed to hinder the realization of the project…

- VCH: I do not have any information on the matter. ‘Mistral’ ships are too expensive. Georgia can purchase them by means of NATO partner states. But it is impossible to purchase ‘Mistral’ by only our resources. The fact that Georgia wishes to purchase only modern military techniques is undoubted for everyone.

- IPN: French ‘Mistral’ might be useless for the climate of Northern Sea. Presumably Russia will land it in Black Sea. What can Georgia do to intensify its security? Is it possible Georgia’s partners to provide Tbilisi with such type of techniques for maintaining balance in Black Sea?

- VCH: I do not exclude such step to be taken by the West. The mentioned techniques might be landed in Black Sea states for maintaining balance. If Russia lands Russian ‘Mistral’ in Black Sea pool, it will seriously change the balance of powers; therefore, NATO might land the relevant ships in Black Sea states for maintaining balance. No matter, whether it is Georgian, Bulgarian, Rumanian or Turkish port. Though, Russians do not exclude to land ‘Mistral’ in Baltic Sea. I reiterate if ‘Mistral’ appears in Black Sea there will be necessity of balancing it and Georgia should take care for that question.

Koba Bendeliani