The messenger logo

Stability platform rumours rise again

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, December 30
In the summer when the Russian invasion was at its peak it was announced that the Turkish leadership had suggested a new political formula – a platform in the Caucasus guaranteeing peace, stability and security in the region. Now it is again reported that the document is being discussed and getting ready to be signed. However Georgian political analysts and journalists are emphasizing that they don’t know the detailed text of this platform and therefore cannot comment on the pros and cons of it.

Any kind of agreement which guarantees peace and stability in the region is welcome, but it is regretted that the Georgian Foreign Ministry did not provide a timely Georgian translation of the document and moreover, did not provide more details of it. What we do know however is that the Turkish initiative envisages the document being signed by Turkey, Russia and the three South Caucasus States. Even this creates an awkward situation. Several entities who claim to have a legitimate interest in this region, such as Iran, the EU and the USA, appear to be excluded from the agreement and this may impact on their attitude towards the countries that sign it and the assistance they might be willing to give to states which thereby do not take their interests into account.

In 1922 an agreement was signed in Kars which was controversial and did not leave any of the South Caucasus states very happy. Today the situation is even more complicated. Russia has introduced two puppet states into the region by snatching Georgian territories – the so-called Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Of course Moscow will try to legalize these fictions by fixing their puppet leaders’ signatures on the document. This will not be accepted by Georgia, and we can say this with 100 % confidence. Hopefully none of the parties to the platform would support Moscow if it tried to take this initiative, assuming there was only one version of the document, and everyone knew who had signed it, which is something no one can now be sure of after what happened with the Sarkozy-brokered ceasefire document in August.

Turkey is most likely interested in promoting its economic interests above all by guaranteeing an uninterrupted flow of Caspian Basin energy to the West via Turkey. It also wants to claim leadership in the region and possibly untie the Karabakh knot and reconcile Azerbaijan and Armenia. However Turkey understands that it cannot do all this alone, without Russia, which is openly stating its dubious militarily claims in the Caucasus which do not square with being part of an agreement signed by Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The Kremlin has also tried to resolve Karabakh problem itself, without Turkey. President Medvedev organized a meeting between the Azeri and Armenian Presidents in Moscow, though this has had no visible results, which might demonstrate that the meeting was just an attempt to pretend Russia is a peacemaker, as some said at the time.

Georgian journalists and political analysts hope that before any document is signed its terms will be made public and become a matter of expert discussion. This is too important an issue to be entrusted to politicians alone, whose judgment on a range of issues has already proven fallible. Nor should signing up to a platform end at the signing ceremony. The stability of the entire region, our country and the welfare of many nations is at stake, and bits of paper achieve nothing unless you make them do so.