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Karasin allows Georgia to sign AA with the EU

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 18
Georgia’s special envoy in relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze said after the meeting with the Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin in Prague that Russia is not going to exercise any kind of pressure against Georgia about the signing of the EU association agreement.

The question is how far can the words of Russian officials be trusted and how deep of a guarantee are his words? Knowing and experiencing multiple times Russian officials’ demagogy and practice of saying one thing but doing another, looking into one’s eyes and lying is a matter of time and experience.

Russian officials have a great deal of practice in saying lies in their relations, contacts, and negotiations with Georgian officials. They said that no passports had been delivered to the Georgian citizens in the separatist-controlled territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. They said that they were not introducing arms in the breakaway territories. They said that there were no Russian citizens taking part in the subversive actions on the Georgian territory assisting separatists. They claimed that the Russian “peacekeepers” were really protecting peace in the region when in reality they were supporting separatists.

In reality the Russian side has masterminded how to undermine the situation in Georgia, spreading lies all around the world by announcing that Georgia was carrying out the genocide of Ossetian people when actually, it was the separatists, encouraged by Moscow, who carried out large-scale ethnic cleansing of the territories first in Abkhazia and later in the Tskhinvali region.

For instance, during the raid into Georgia in 2008 Russians together with Ossetian separatists completely razed Georgian villages to the ground - including a famous village of Tamarasheni - so that today there is not a single Georgian village left in the region.

So, can Russians be trusted?

At first glance it looks like Moscow does not plan to apply pressure against Georgia’s decision to sign the association agreement with the European Union.

Georgian politicians, analysts, media and ordinary citizens keep forecasting how Moscow will be opposing Georgia’s integration into the EU.

Even Zurab Abashidze himself while citing Karasin’s words said: “Let us see. Let us watch it with attention. June is not that far. Everything will become clear. Altogether I repeat that the statement itself made by Gregory Karasin is interesting.”

In a way Moscow is exercising a stick-and-carrot policy against Tbilisi.

Karasin highlighted certain progress in relations between the two countries in particular an increase in trade turnover. More Georgian agricultural products are entering the Russian market, more Georgian citizens are receiving visas and travel without any problems, discussions are underway in different fields of economy such as in energy, transportation or others.

The issue of installing barbed wire fences along the administrative border between the breakaway South Ossetia and the Georgian mainland was also in focus.

The Georgian administration is satisfied with the results of Karasin-Abashidze meeting. Georgian officials even think about increasing this format. The former ruling party now in opposition United National Movement is skeptical about the improvements of relations between the two countries explaining that this is understood as a temporary position determined by the complicated situation in Ukraine.

The Russian side constantly insists on the idea that Georgia and South Ossetia are different states. The situation so far is quite vague. It is not clear how the things will further develop and what will be more beneficial for Georgia to keep a strict position or to apply a soft approach.