Editor's comment
The Grand Finale
27 November, 2014
Is this the grand finale of the Georgian-Abkhaz Concerto Drammatico in R major? Yeah, the damn thing sounds precisely like that. You probably got it right – R means Russia in this context. R and Abkhazia signed the agreement on allied relations and strategic partnership – bad news! The new agreement is based on the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation of 2008 which had finally propped up Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia. The reaction to the roaring signatures was razor-sharp and instantaneous:
Foreign Minister of Georgia wasted no time to condemn the treaty as a violation of fundamental principles of international law – I wonder what this condemnation means in real life. The United States Ambassador to Georgia is not recognizing the agreement – isn’t this absolutely encouraging? Forthwith, Georgia’s President embarked on consultations with non-parliamentary political parties and NGOs about overcoming the problems resulting from signing the agreement – wow, the office is truly gathering momentum! Minister of Energy even believed that the government was doing its best to halt the process – what lovely optimism! The outgoing head of EUMM to Georgia commented that the so-called treaty between R and Abkhazia does not change anything in European Union’s approach – this is so touching! NATO’s new strongman Jens Stoltenberg said that he appreciates Georgia’s great contribution to the Alliance, and confidently emphasized that the Western allies do not recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, continuing the implementation of the deepest and substantial package ever with Georgia – as if R would care and start shaking all over, having heard that! But the best sounding out of all the commentary on the new political bombshell, prepared and defused by R was the inquiry, addressed to Stoltenberg by the head of Georgia’s parliamentary committee for foreign affairs: What should Georgia do to move closer to NATO integration and how should it treat a neighbor like Russia? These two questions, asked in utmost desperation and hopelessness, sounded like an acme of modern diplomatic romanticism and naiveté. Russian President’s balanced and fatherly observation was the most conspicuous pearl in the crown of course. He underlined that the financial aid for Abkhazia would be doubled after signing the agreement between him and de-facto Abkhazian president – I thought the beautiful Abkhazia was much, much more expensive a land. In fact, they are talking about only five billion miserable rubles, the value of which is falling like a ton of bricks on everyday basis. Our poor old brother Abkhazians – they should know better! I am taking all this to my heart so much that an acute steno-cardiac pain is getting stationed in my sensitive chest. I truly need a break from this half-a-century national predicament of territorial impasse with R and Abkhazia. Just look into these excerpts from the text of the sickening agreement: The Russian Federation will in all possible ways contribute to strengthening international ties with the Republic of Abkhazia, including expansion of the range of states that officially recognized it, and creation of conditions for the admission of the Republic of Abkhazia to international organizations and associations, including those established on the initiative and/or with assistance from the Russian Federation... Should one of the sides come under aggression from any state or a group of states, this will be considered as aggression also against the other State party. In this case, the sides will grant each other the necessary assistance, including military, and render support by available means to exercise the right to collective defense. R is planning to modernize Abkhazia’s army and provide for logistical assistance, train and equip it with modern weaponry. Freedom of crossing the border between them is also guaranteed by the hot document. R will also adopt measures, aimed to facilitate acquisition of Russian citizenship by nationals of its adopted daughter. While the agreement, which is as real as it could possibly be, has been signed and sealed, Georgia and its good friends persistently keep reiterating what a big violator of international rules and regulations R is, whereas R herself is taking it all in her stride with such an indifference and cynicism that I want to sit down and weep, overwhelmed with a sense of misery and disability. In the meantime, the adversary is already standing on the threshold of the motherland, playing on the delicate verge of our vulnerability, and menacingly snarling at us to get our act together if we want to survive. Interestingly, we and our allies are not ready, and do not want to recognize that R has taken the bull by the horns, and is moving towards her long-set goal, driven by her sense of omnipotence on the world arena, which was hushed for a while after the demise of the soviet empire. Do we have any good reason to expect that the current or future Russian governments, encouraged by its people’s patriotic support in the national endeavor to keep Russia big and strong, would ever give up on the global weight she has lately been gaining? Probably not! The Russian historic goal to see R big and strong at all times is higher than the desire to keep her submissive people in economic prosperity and regular human happiness. R will never betray her sacred goals in the perennial competition with West. And Georgia will always be victim of that rivalry. Unless... Let’s talk about the ‘unless’ later!