Expert opinion
Russians Have Not Paid the Fee
03 October, 2013
In a live interview from New-York, President Mikheil Saakashvili said the following: “In the last weeks and months we lost more agricultural lands than in Kurta and Tamarasheni villages combined.”
Mikheil Saakashvili was the President during the August 2008 war too. So, he is supposed to be the most knowledgeable of all that during those tragic days Georgia was ripped of not just Tamarasheni and Kurta arable lands but around 20% of the country’s area! This loss should have been
more than enough for any decent, homeland loving leader of the country to recognize the strategic mistakes he committed before and during the war, and resign.
President Saakashvili is trying to distort the real picture by alleging that the occupiers began installation of wire fences right after the defeat of National Party in the October Parliamentary Elections.
The insinuation is far from truth indeed. It was his very initiative to recognize the so called South Ossetian Autonomous area before the August war. No wonder, the occupiers lay the administrative wire fences exactly around this area which coincides with the borders of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Soviet Republic.
The Russian border guards are consistently demarcating the administrative border lines. After the August war, they went and founded military townships and barracks on the occupied territories and now are slowly re-drawing the old Soviet borders using wire fences and other special means (including video cameras and thermal vision devices).
Mikheil Saakashvili: “People, we lost more cropland without a single shot than during the big war when Russians had to pay a considerable international price. Today they pay nothing – zero.”
Thus, what probably transpires is that departing President Saakashvili proposes to the new Government to open fire on Russian occupiers, who are currently drawing fences in Ditsi and Dvani villages and thereby give a brilliant excuse to the Kremlin for the continued military aggression. Similarly, one would wonder about the so called international price that the Georgia’s president refers to as the price that Russians allegedly paid. If Saakashvili means the concerns expressed by American and European leaders than the argument is a lame duck as it fell flat on both Putin and Medvedev at the time. Even NATO has returned to the negotiation table with Russian diplomats and militaries and revived the NATO-Russian Council in just one year after it suspended the council operations in protest of Russia’s aggression against Georgia in the August war.
This proved to be the maximum that Russia faced after the war, which clearly fell short of being called a sanction. No UN or EU sanctions for intruding into the sovereign territory of Georgia and grabbing some 20% of its land. Surely Russia is not going to pay anything for its deeds.
Division of Georgian land with wire fences is extremely painful process to observe because if anything it is so much in the foreground and everybody sees it unlike those wrong and often criminal decisions made by President Saakashvili before, during and after the August war and which continued to be classified, secret information.
It’s a pity but a variety of protest rallies and sit-ins will have absolutely no effect on the result of the wire fencing. We are flogging a dead horse.
Georgia cannot stop Russia with tanks or machine guns. We do not have enough power. Neither can we rely on western military assistance only. It would be a wishful thinking just like it used to be even before the August 2008 war. Though, some senior officials of the previous Government thought otherwise for no apparent reason.
Irrespective of our emotional positions, the only way of finding a reasonable solution is to engage in direct talks with the Authorities of the occupying country – Russia. Even so, we shall not cherish any hope that Russia would withdraw recognition of independence of Abkhazia and so called South Ossetia, at least for the foreseeable future.