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Recent move by Russia adds insult to injury

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 19
The Russian Medvedev-Putin tandem continues its provocative conduct against Georgia. Sometime ago Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev categorically rejected any possibility of the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity in his recent interview, instead suggesting to Georgia that it must cope with “ reality” – the existence of the two separatist entities on Georgian territory.

On August 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leader of the Abkhaz separatist regime, Alexander Ankvab, in Sochi. The leaders discussed the issue of “cooperation between the two countries.”

The response in Georgia was mixed. The Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maia Panjikidze, did not pay much attention to the meeting, saying that it is not the first time that Putin demonstratively has met with the leaders of the breakaway territories.

However, Georgian Dream presidential candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, was more critical, calling the meeting ‘one more insult against Georgian statehood.’ Margvelashvili, emphasized however, that although more provocations are to be expected in the future, Georgia will not be provoked into acting foolishly.

Georgia will not react to such aggressive behavior and will continue its attempts to regulate its relations with Moscow. Margvelashvili also highlighted the importance of the support from Georgia’s partner countries who are also involved in challenges Georgia is facing nowadays.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili thinks that some activities of the Russian administration are determined by the nervous atmosphere connected with the Sochi Olympic Games. Ivanishvili expressed his confidence that when the Olympic Games are over, relations with Russia will become easier, more positive and constructive. Ivanishvili also reiterated that the regulation of problems with Abkhazia should be based on friendly, brotherly grounds and that Georgia should build a democratic, economically strong state with rule of the law, so that they should be interested in joining with the rest of the Georgian population.

Some analysts think it is unrealistic for Georgia to “continue its Euro-Atlantic course and regulate relations with Russia simultaneously.” Most Russian analysts insist that if Georgia does not give up its NATO aspirations, it will be impossible to regulate relations with Russia. Most Russian analysts are certain that in such a case, Russia would never consider the de-occupation of Georgia’s breakaway territories.

Meanwhile, the opposition in Georgia criticizes the course of the government and the concessions it makes to Moscow. They demand more active pro-Western moves. However, there are also those who advocate giving up the country’s Western orientation and moving towards Russia.