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Moscow sees dualism in Georgia’s foreign policy

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 10
The current Georgian government claims that its push towards Europe and its move to regulate relations with Russia are quite compatible. However, the Russian leadership has expressed repeatedly its opposition to Georgia’s Western aspirations.

In his recent interview, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Gregory Karasin praised Georgia for its attempts to improve its relationship with Russia, and showed his concern over the Georgia’s NATO goals.

He stressed that Moscow views dualism in Georgia’s foreign policy intentions.

Karasin is Russia’s main negotiator at the Geneva International meeting format set up after the August War between Georgia and Russia in 2008.

He also takes part in direct dialogue with Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze.

Thus, his words are worth discussing.

“We are going to prolong the dialogue with Georgia, despite the complications that have emerged from time to time,” Karasin states.

The Russian official stresses that since the new leadership came to power in 2012, it was decided that this dialogue would possibly facilitate the solving of practical issues and ease relations between the two countries.

“Almost one million ethnic Georgians live in Russia; they are part of our people,” Karasin says.

“Nine meetings have been held with the Georgian prime minister’s special representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze; this is a measured and experienced person. At these meetings we do not address issues that are unsolvable in the current situation – we instead focus on the practical issues of bilateral relations such as transport, aviation, humanitarian contacts, visa practices, the export of Georgian wine and mineral water,” Karasin says.

Karasin advises Georgia to take its own size and location into account.

“When you live in a small country next to a major power, it would be more rational to match your geopolitical ambitions with real life. Otherwise you lead your people to a test,” Karasin says.

“Of course we are concerned that mysterious NATO training centers are emerging in Georgia, and statements are made about the need to speed up the move towards NATO structures,” Karasin said.

“We view it as dualism in Georgia’s position,” he added.

In his recent statements Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze mentioned that Georgia’s pro-Western course is in opposition with Russia’s regional goals, which creates a natural risk for Russian aggression.

It is obvious that Russia is trying to somehow drag Georgia into its orbit, and it will use all its levers to achieve its goals.