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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, July 19
Russian-Georgian relations to change

Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze states in the interview with Akhali Taoba that, "Abandoned Georgia took a step towards Iran which was dangerous for the West and the West started to correct its isolationism at once. An isolated Russia is even more dangerous. In fact, the reset policy means Russia should not be in isolation. Otherwise, Russia can do very unpleasant things.

"One of the toughest issues to resolve while resetting relations with Russia is Georgia. There are processes underway to improve relations with Russia all over the world, which will certainly continue for as long as Obama stays in power. If confrontation re-emerges the Cold War climate will remain for a long time. But if the spring of Obama comes, the frozen relations will be melted.

"Russia has got problems in its own regions, and maintaining them requires enormous expenditure. Russia needs the confidence of Europe to establish an economic partnership. Furthermore there is an obvious internal confrontation within the Russian Government. However is strongest will win. Who is this? Actually everyone knows who the strongest person there is," Ramaz Sakvarelidze states.

Asked whether he thought that the frequent visits of foreign dignitaries recently might be connected with Saakashvili's desire to remain in power for a third term, Sakvarelidze says, "Maybe, why not? But I do not see how these diplomatic visits can change anything in this respect. It may be one of the reasons for them, for I know that Hillary Clinton asked the opposition at their meeting if they would hold street protests if Saakashvili remained in power. This question is interesting because it seems this matter is significant for the West," the analyst says.

Tina Khidasheli Kouchner told us we were too pessimistic

Republican Tina Khidasheli states in an interview with Rezonansi that, "I spoke for a long time at the meeting with Bernard Kouchner. The process was rather interesting the meeting was conducted as a question and answer session. The French Foreign Minister kept stopping us while answering the more interesting questions in order to obtain further information. I talked about the war, the state of the IDPs and the prospects of the strategy document issued by the Georgian Government.

"In the end we highlighted the question of political prisoners. We obtained very interesting information about the planned international conference on the issue of political prisoners supported by the Embassy of France in October. We hope it will bring concrete outcomes. We also said a lot about the freedom of the media and the problems with Imedi and Rustavi-2, Tina Khidasheli says.

"No one has any illusion that the question of Georgia will be solved in a month. No one has illusion that Russia will withdraw its troops and renounce its recognition of the separatist regions. Kouchner remarked that we should have partnership relations with the opposing side. He said that the EU will participate in this process if there is a proper strategy. I personally told Kouchner that we in the Republicans agree that the conflicts will never be resolved without close relations with people living beyond the borders," Khidasheli continues.

"We did not talk about the concrete strategy of holding dialogue with Russia. When you are in opposition, making recommendations on such things is pointless. We talked about public diplomacy, social contacts and relations which have been underway for years in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Kouchner was interested in whether we had been able to go there or not. I told him that I had been to Tskhinvali and Abkhazia even since the war," Tina Khidasheli adds.

"Kouchner told the opposition that we are too pessimistic. I suppose he fully expressed his position. We tried to highlight all urgent issues at the meeting with Kouchner," Khidasheli says.