Foreign Relations
06 March, 2014
Foreign Relations
Let us put it as trivially as we can – even a child in a nursery school today knows what Foreign Relations means. If we define it in a more or less quizzical way, Foreign Relations would connote the nations, rubbing up against each other in amicable or hostile circumstance, seeking as much benefit from one another as a particular situation would allow at the moment of interaction. Wow, what a perfectly comprehensive new definition, ready for entry into any
reputable reference book on the subject. I wonder if this definition might work in our widely internationalized national reality. It might!
Or it might not, depending on what we imply when we say ‘rubbing up’. For seventy ears of boiling in the soviet crucible, Georgia did not have anything to do with foreign relations, foreign trade and defense except that some chosen ethnic Georgian individuals sporadically served in all those imperative fields on federal level if an individual was lucky enough to find its way in the direction of Moscow – the center of centers of the big country and the venue of all decisions. With the Soviet Union gone and the former soviet republics recognized as independent nations, the creation, development and management of foreign policy has become a job of each of those newly independent states, which practically means for them to be responsible for every word and move they make when ‘rubbing up’ against other nations in the international milieu without a watchful, controlling and patronizing eye from above. The time of baby-sitting is gone and we are on our own. We do our walk and talk by ourselves, hence the result of ‘rubbing-up’ maybe soothing or painful, but the result is all ours and nobody else’s. It is only us who may suffer or enjoy the consequence. And we have been doing this in the last quarter of a century only, so our experience is not very rich and solid. This means that we are still in the process of learning – let us say, we are doing our share of on-job training every day, which is good, but might also be full of diplomatic errors and human bungles. We are no longer waging any world wars, but this does not make the Foreign Relations any easier for us than it was before. Vice-versa! The globe is ridden with turbulent or hibernating cultural, social, economic, political and military conflicts, and because the world is so intensely globalized, even the smaller-size countries, like Georgia are getting involved in them every now and again, and get beaten up too, especially if the conflicts are burning or smoldering on its own soil. Learning how to ‘rub up’ against other nations’ bodies is a hard job to do because there are myriad forms, smells and colors of those bodies, and we have to be closely familiar with all of them. I would love to imagine and believe that young lions and lionesses of Georgia’s foreign policy have enough professional skill and diplomatic acumen for doing the ‘rubbing up’ in the right dose, right time and right place. Who would think that the most complicated and subtle ‘rubbing up’ would be needed in interaction with Russia, but that’s the way it has happened. ‘Rubbing up’ our shoulders with Russia is so intrinsically contextualized that even the geniuses of foreign relations might find themselves at a loss when answering the questions about the consequences of the current Russian-Georgian renovated but not substantially reinvigorated relations. The problem is that we might be ‘rubbing up’ against each other for quite a while in search of soothed bodies, but we may also trigger the bleeding or even suppuration if we the Georgians are not experienced and accomplished enough in the practice of correct ‘rubbing up’. Georgia’s orientation in Foreign Affairs seems to be clear and uncomplicated – we have a general direction, and we know where we want to be in the finale. But when it comes to the relations with Russia, the orientation starts faltering because with Russia we cannot be sure of anything: today it all looks promising and logical; tomorrow it is giving every reason to be lost in presumptions and conclusions. Today the Russian Bear is kind and generous, showing certain amount of compassion; tomorrow its munificence is replaced by malice and the embittered determination to let us know that it rules the roost and nobody else. There is no version of dynamic, reasonable and correctly calculated diplomacy that is working in Georgia’s and Russia’s ‘rubbing up’ against each other with a potential chance to stop hostilities and restart fair and peaceful coexistence. Georgians are good and talented learners. Yes, we have made countless mistakes since the demise of the soviet empire but we have also studied diligently and learnt to discern between the good and the evil. At least we are better today than we were yesterday. I wish I knew what would be the most optimal and sensible niche in foreign relations for Georgia to accommodate Russia so that nobody loses anything and the worldwide recognition of the solution of the Russian-Georgian killer quandary is reaped as a reward. I sometimes think that no smarts and skills in foreign relations can do the job. Or no matter how careful we are in the course of ‘rubbing up’ against Russian soul and body, we will still end up on a losing side. Or the excruciating status quo with Russia is just our Manifest Destiny, and it makes no sense to courageously carry on with the process of ‘rubbing up’. No! This is too pessimistic! We cannot afford drooping of our spirits. There must always be a way when there is a will – we have to believe in this plain shibboleth. I don’t see anything inappropriate or outdated in it. Just the contrary – following it, we might eventually get where we want to be. Incidentally, do we know for sure where we want to be indeed?
Print
Other Stories
A new beginning
Our little darling GJ has done its good job and it is now leaving the public life arena as quietly as it had once come around eight years ago.
Left-hand, Right-hand...
Georgia has lately been flagrantly busy and obsessed with controversial talk about the right-hand-steering wheels
Always in Expectation
Georgia last felt stable, hopeful and unperturbed when the Soviet home of nations was still alive and kicking. As soon as the loud and hard-going Soviet collapse occurred
Named after Bush
Any time I am on my way to Tbilisi Airport together with another guest of mine, and pass the huge mural portrait of George
Remembering the Legend
The famous Georgian physician and scientist Joseph Zhordania would have turned 120 this year.
Impeach the Mayor? Then what?
It does not take excessive political qualification to know that democracy has turned out to be a complicated brain-twister
Rustavi 2
The current government got hold of the helm on a wave of promises to restore justice in the country, buried
What is it all about?
“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Just in Denmark, not in Georgia! Aren’t we lucky that nothing
Perpetuity of Conflict
Here, the difference of opinion is perceived not as the knowledgeable and well-organized Western political culture would dictate.
Welfare & Politics
Beliefs, principles, dogmas, views, political affairs, etc. are not edibles to eat, although they are fed to people
Polit-Economic Paradox
That the Georgian historical lands are occupied by Russia is part of politics, and the fact that Georgia
Freedom of Speech
All of our governments of various periods in the last twenty-five years have been at a loss when it came to the relationships
Narushilovka
I cannot imagine an American policeman – unless I am totally ignorant of reality or utterly uninformed on the matter
Jansugh Charkviani ‘The Gorgeous Death’
Translated from Georgian by Nugzar B. Ruhadze
Flashes in the Pan
In the twentieth century, before the eyes of the civilized world, we appeal to the conscience of civilized nations and all honest people
Of Media, Freedom and Crossroads - M100 SANSSOUCI COLLOQUIUM 2015
”Satire must provoke shock” – declared Gerard Briard, editor-in-chief of the controversial French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo
Pursuing happiness...
Georgia has of course taken the human rights issue very seriously – and this tells on the life of this nation quite considerably
Forms of Hatred
Anything that the world is concerned about and is dwelling upon verbally or practically has become a subject of discourse in Georgia too.
Do’s & Don’ts
What a silly month of year August is when it comes to feeding ourselves with news. In August, don’t even bother
USSR & USA
The United States, left in the battlefield all by itself and without a worthy opponent, is feeling somewhat
'Make America Great Again'
The title of this editorial is copied from a presidential campaign slogan – behold, somebody wants to make America great all over again.
“Georgia will be better off with Trump in the White House than Obama”
Bill Thomas is an author and journalist in Washington who has written about politics for more than 20 years.
Electoral Preferences
Call them as you wish but ask of them as much as, for example, the American people are asking of senators and congressman of their choice!
Why so critical?
Why am I so critical towards my native Georgia, its habits and inclinations, its people and government, its means and ways, its behavior
Into & Beyond Politics
It was Georgia’s good luck that several years ago we won the title of the host country of the 13th Summer European Youth Olympic
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
19.09.2018
20.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6188
2.6179
EUR
1
EUR
3.0593
3.0606
GBP
1
GBP
3.4414
3.4517
RUB
100
RUB
3.8673
3.9087
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6179
EUR
1
EUR
3.0606
GBP
1
GBP
3.4517
RUB
100
RUB
3.9087