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Special border commissioners to be created

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 19
Special border commissioners are being sent to land border crossings, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Employees of the Ministry will be sent to specific border areas in order to regulate security issues and eradicate "incidents". The areas where they will serve will be determined in agreements with bordering countries. Commissioners will participate in investigation of border incidents either independently, or with representatives from a neighbouring country. Candidates will be nominated from border police and patrol police, to be approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

An office of border commissioners may also be established, with assistants, secretaries, translators, and other necessary positions. The project is funded through the Ministry and the border police budget.

There is some speculation that concern over Russian "provocation" along the border during the election period may be behind the creation of the commissioners. The Kavkaz 2012 military exercises planned by the Russian government for September are of particular concern.

Analyst and member of Georgian Dream’s initiative group, Gia Volski, says that provocations from Russia are only in the current Georgian leadership’s interest. "Putin is not interested in who comes to power in Georgia. The current Georgian leadership is more profitable for Russian aims, as Russia can carry out such provocations that will make Georgians forget the elections... a special condition only in Saakashvili’s interest,” he claimed, noting that Saakashvili is good for the Russians, too. "With new leadership in Georgia, Russia will be obliged to sit around the negotiation table".

Military analyst Irakli Aladashvili believes that nothing is below Russia, and that the military exercises may slide into war just as they did in August 2008. He did admit, however, that the training is not explicitly targeted against Georgia.

Fellow analyst Malkhaz Chemia notes that the major interest of Russia and Europe at the moment is Iran and Israel; the conflict in Georgia is not on the agenda.