MAP – GREEN LIGHT FROM NICOLAS SARKOZY
13 October, 2011
MAP – GREEN LIGHT FROM NICOLAS SARKOZY

Expert opinion about the visit of the President of France

Dachi Grdzelishvili

As it seems, President Saakashvili decided not to pin his hopes only on the USA and give ‘its due’ to the European Union too. It must be said that Sarkozy, the visiting President of France, paid back in his own coin - when addressing the people on the Freedom Square he tried his best to show himself as a friend and well-wisher of Georgia. In this speech besides fine words an

observant could notice bitter but useful truth – about Russian-French and EU-Russian relations.

Together with the above said, a lot in the internal policy needs reflection; especially after Bidzina Ivanishvili, a well-known Georgian businessman having his business interests in Russia, decided to get actively involved in Georgian politics and made several declarations about it. Ivanishvili’s commercial offers to the owners of TV companies were something so queer that, to say the truth, didn’t seem very correct. We discussed in details home and foreign political issues with Zurab Abashidze, a political scientist:

Z.A. – The visit itself had special significance. As you may remember, there was much talk that allegedly Mr. Sarkozy believed the six-point agreement signed in August, 2008 was fulfilled by Russia. Naturally, in Georgia the attitude towards this was rather critical. With regard to this well-known document Mr. Sarkozy clearly confirmed his position saying that when a state takes responsibility (in this case he certainly meant Russia), it must fulfill it and non-feasance, blackmail and threat to Georgia are absolutely unacceptable.

Declaration with regard to NATO was very important as well: we know that in 2008 France didn’t support giving MAP to Georgia. As it was confirmed during the visit, this attitude is also changed.

The declaration that the EU observers who arrived in Georgia in September of 2008 should monitor not only the border but enter Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region too, to my mind, is also very important.

Q. – Sarkozy told Putin that the Soviet Union couldn’t be restored. But, according to Sarkozy, Russia is considered to be France’s strategic partner as their fates are interdependent and Europeans and Russians will together secure sustainable wellbeing of their peoples and stability of the continent…

Z.A. – Of course France has good relations with Russia and in today’s world, besides reconciliation, there is no alternative to co-habitat for these two countries. And Sarkozy told us directly – after the WWII they reconciled with Germany and have good relations with Russia and we too, at a certain stage should manage to find common language with Russia. There was a lyrical deviation from the main topic when he mentioned giving shelter by France to Georgian government in exile; our historical relations were also mentioned…Thus, speaking frankly, I liked the speech very much. As far as I know, the initiative to address the people gathered on the square came from Sarkozy. The gesture itself is nice…

Q. – That is, France manages, on the one hand, to criticize Russia and speak in public about the issues, unacceptable for them and on the other – to pursue its own interests. Is it possible for Georgia to conduct similar policy with Russia?

Z.A. – Sarkozy has advised us: Georgia should become an attractive state so that Abkhazians as well as Ossetians will give preference to living with us. As for the question whether Georgia can manage what is manageable for France … if we remain realists, of course Georgia’s situation cannot be compared with that of France. France has never been a Soviet Republic and a sphere of Russia’s influence. France is a great European country, a member of NATO and EU; there was a time when France conquered Moscow and after all, France is France… But EU has its vision, its agenda and geopolitical tasks.

At present maintaining good relations with Russia is in their interest as far as it’s the demand and aim of their policy. We can’t force anybody to conduct its policy in accordance with Georgia’s interests. But it’s possible to take into account Georgia’s interests and consider us as friends who need support. But only good visits, good meetings and good speeches are not enough for success. As I have mentioned, we too have to do a lot. Georgia needs serious democratic and systemic changes in order to become a worthy and full-fledged player of the commonwealth.

Q. – Now let’s shift to the other issue. Last week Bidzina Ivanishvili made a serious declaration…

Z.A. – Every citizen, including businessmen, has the right to join politics, and personally Bidzina Ivanishvili may have even more right as he is a Maecenas of unprecedented scale.

Q. – Will he be ready to observe the rules of play established in Georgian politics and avoid getting stuck in ‘gutter politics’?  Will he manage to maneuver in the chaos called Georgian politics?

Z.A. – It is difficult to forecast it… We’ll have the first and most vivid answer on this question when we see on which political figures he will make bids at the beginning of his political career; who will stand by him and be members of the team that will be transformed into a political party.

I hope he has elaborated and analyzed all this because our opposition spectrum needs serious strengthening in order to bring political configuration into balance.

Q. – But in Georgian media and generally in our society there is a kind of uncertainty connected with Bidzina Ivanishvili – for instance, with regard to his desire to get hold of  TV companies; in his extensive speech it is said that every TV, including ‘Maestro’ and ‘Kavkasia’ (which are considered to be oppositionist companies) is controlled by Mikheil Saakashvili and the said TV channels represent ‘pseudo-opposition media with special assignment’…

Z.A. – A politician must make declarations, show initiatives and offer suggestions. Press must criticize all this. Having in mind that Ivanishvili is a Maecenas, hardly anyone could criticize Bidzina Ivanishvili and this was understandable. Besides, it was his right to remain in the shadow as well as keep up personal life. Now, after he appeared on a political arena, rules of game have changed – he is a politician and direct obligation of mass media is to criticize him sharply or mildly, with or without mercy, as they deem it appropriate.

A politician should always be ready to acknowledge that a ‘watchdog’ will keep an eye on him and he mustn’t make mistakes otherwise he won’t be pardoned.

Print
Other Stories
“MINISTER MAY HAVE BEEN NUDGED BY AMERICANS”

Statement which caused the uproar

When the results of the investigation were published, the people, politicians and experts were discussing whether the investigation was carried out fairly. Besides, if the government’s version is correct, eavesdropping devices were installed at Rustavi 2 TV with the knowledge of the management. Law enforcers must take this case to an end. Expert Alexander Tvalchrelidze is sure that the recording devices were not installed under the current authorities:
First Trilateral Summit-Level Meeting
Turkish Ambassador talked with Georgian Journal about visit of Turkish President

Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, paid his second official visit to Georgia. On the first day of the visit, the trilateral summit among Georgian, Turkish and Azeri Presidents took place. Georgian Journal seized the opportunity and recorded the interview right after the three-day visit of the Turkish President, with the Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia, H.E. Mr. Levent Gümrükçü.
Polish Book on Georgians and Abkhazians
Interview with the Ambassador of Poland to Georgia

Poland, together with the Czech Republic and Hungary, celebrates its 15th anniversary of joining NATO. With the V4 and Baltic States, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta it celebrates its 10th anniversary of EU accession. Georgian Journal spoke with the Ambassador of Poland to Georgia, Mr. Andrzej Cieszkowski, about the EU, his challenges as a diplomat while living abroad for the second time and his first ambassadorial mission as well as about personal interests. Stay with us.
“I WARN YOU, THINK CAREFULLY!”
Interview with Austrian researcher and analyst, Eugene Kogan

What’s going on in Ukraine, what is Crimea’s destiny and how will the Ukrainian events influence Georgia? We discussed these questions with Eugene Kogan, Austrian researcher and a Realpolitik expert who is currently in Georgia and cooperates with Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Ambition to have Ukraine as one’s own part
Below Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a political expert, answers Georgian Journal’s questions on the current situation of Georgia, the way of integration into Europe and signing of the Association Agreement. At the same time, we are concerned about the events in Ukraine, the political expert assesses risks that Georgia may face on its way into Europe while avoiding pressure and danger from Russia.
Sochi threatened
Russia created a special 11-km wide zone deep in occupied Abkhazia

For almost two months Sochi will host athletes, public figures and journalists from up to 90 countries.
VENI, VIDI, VICI
Interview with expert Kakhi Kakhishvili

We hope Bidzina Ivanishvili will stay neutral to the end and in case of reasoned criticism of authorities he will side with civil society. By the way, Ivanishvili kept one more promise and, on leaving, nominated Davit Narmania as the candidate for the Tbilisi Mayor’s post. We began the interview with expert Kakhi Kakhishvili with this issue.
HOW WAS THE NEW PROSECUTOR SELECTED?
Will the monster created by the previous powers disintegrate?

Last week Irakli Gharibashvili, candidate for the PM post, first named Otar Partskhaladze as the substitute for Chief Prosecutor, and then Alexander Chikaidze as the candidate for the post of Interior Minister. Why did the Chief Prosecutor leave his post? What do the cadre changes mean for us? Expert Kakha Kakhishvili shares his opinion:
Summoning Patience and Consistency

Exclusive Interview with Mrs. Elita Gavele, Latvian Ambassador to Georgia

It is always difficult to predict what will happen in the future. The easiest thing is to wait to make things clear. All we know at the present time is that we have a new president Giorgi Margvelashvili from the ruling party. Let's see what will change. However, there are many expectations and hopes for the better in the society that had a total feeling of injustice. Georgian Journal talked to Mrs. Elita Gavele, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to Georgia and Armenia.

CRUSHING  OF NATIONAL  MOVEMENT WILL BE GRAVE MISTAKE
Interview with philosopher Zaza Piralishvili

Why the 2013 Presidential elections don’t resemble previous ones? Do the election programs, promises and political views of presidential candidates differ from one another? Below Philosopher Zaza Piralishvili dissects these issues.
“Prosecutors’ Office  Still a Black  Hole”
Interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili

Last week traditionally proved to be politically tense in Georgia. We witnessed Bidzina Ivanishvili’s “talk show” - this time featuring representatives of TV channels. In another development, MIA found an identity of the Jihad Video fabricator. Finally, the general assembly of the National Movement Party closed the week. Our interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili started with this event staged by the Nationals.
Russians Have Not Paid the Fee
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.
PEOPLE’S ALREADY GETTING ANGRY
Mamuka AreshidzeInterview with expert

One year after the change in the ruling power, political pressure is rising in the country again. There are a plenty of reasons – promises are being fulfilled at a low tempo or not at all. In the given situation, the decision by PM Bidzina Ivanishvili to leave politics feeds into the public fear of future. We spoke with expert Mamuka Areshidze about this and other interesting topics:
EURASIAN UNION - NEW CIS
Interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili

Today the most urgent topic is whether Ivanishvili leaves or stays in politics. We discussed this and other topical issues with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.
Demise of Nabucco

Eugene Kogen: I don’t see Georgia as a EU member for another 25 years to come…

”Nabucco was a victim of clash of interests in Brussels” – says South Caucasus security expert Eugene Kogen. In an exclusive interview, he talked about the demise of much-talked project of Nabucco pipeline and his own, skeptical view of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future.

‘I don’t Expect Any Major Response from USA...‘
Interview with Michael Cecire, associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute

- Former PM Vano Merabishvili, present-day UNM Secretary General, and ex-Healthcare Minister Zurab Chiaberashvili, currently Governor of Kakheti region, were arrested.
Georgia Targets on Innovations
Innovation Research and Development Council was created at Georgian parliament to base national economy on innovations in pursuance with the best world experience. The Council will peruse each innovation proposal and scientific work so as to use the country’s intellectual potential take its nich among developed economies.
Scandalous Detail of August War
Umpteenth violation of International Agreement on the part of the Kremlin

The August war in 2008 left indelible trace in the minds of many people world over thanks to a number of video and photo materials depicting Russians grabbing and taking away weaponry and military machinery of Georgian Army but this Blitzkrieg war had another episode, which did not take up the headlines. It should have caused an international scandal for sure. Now it’s late.
ne of the Georgian Army units which retreated from its Tskhinvali outskirts position in August 2008, brought 16 Strela-2 - man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system – to Tbilisi. This weapon was abandoned by Russian instructors and Ossetian separatists fighting Georgian troops.
PROSPECTS OF GEORGIAN-RUSSIAN DIALOG
After several-year interval Georgian-Russian dialog has ensued. What does Georgia expect from this dialog with 88% of its population, supporting relations with Russia? Answer to this question is intertwined with the reasons that conditioned increase of the supporters of the dialog with Russia while Russia as an image of enemy, is considered as a stigma for the last 20 years and not only desire of relations but even mentioning it in a slightly positive context, was almost equivalent of expulsion from the society.
‘TONE OF FOREIGN PRESS CHANGED CONSIDERABLY’
‘Akhalaia’s release in return for ambassadors is inadmissible’

There is a smell of new provocation in the air in Georgia that is called ‘religious confrontation’. Our compatriot Christians and Muslims declare that instigators are trying to aggravate the situation. This way or that way the authorities didn’t have adequate and timely reaction; we may get a result that even the instigators of this escalation didn’t want or expect. The expert Kote Zhgenti hopes that the situation won’t aggravate. According to him the authors of this artificial process don’t consider that interests of the country may be sacrificed to all this.
‘UNLESS WE HELP, SYRIA AND EGYPT WILL BE REPEATED’

‘Georgian authorities are doing everything for blood-shedding’

High-ranking diplomats and International Organizations can’t hide their concern about the events undergoing in the country. OSCE sees the signs of Leninism and according to Terry Benhem, an American expert on election issues, adviser of NGO ‘Open Democracy Committee’, the voters’ lists, fines and rule of law are under a question mark in Georgia.

 

GEORGIAN PERIODICALS IN CIVIL WAR MODE

Interview with Mamuka Areshidze, political scientist

 

Everybody and everything in Georgia are in possession of pre-election fever. The authorities being under time pressure because of Ivanishvili’s unexpected appearance in politics can’t cope with issuing fines or other sanctions. It seems they hope in Saakashvili’s team that victors are not judged… We are talking about the peripety in Georgian politics with political scientist Mamuka Areshidze.

LOBBYISTS’ WAR FOR GEORGIA

Why didn’t Saakashvili have face-to-face meeting with State Minister?

Against the background of recent appointment/sacking process conducted by the authorities, UN General Assembly’s resolution on Georgia was left beyond public attention. With this issue we began our interview with Mamuka Areshidze, an expert of Caucasian issues:

“Sarkozy Was Minister of Internal Affairs Too Before Becoming President”

Appointment of currently former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili to the post of Prime-Minister of Georgia overshadowed nearly all other recent political events. Is it promotion of Vano Merabishvili or downgrading of his power? We put this question on the top of issues discussed in our interview with political expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.

ISSUE OF IRAN OR DEMOCRACY IN GEORGIA?

Expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze on Mrs. Clinton’s visit to Georgia

We began our interview with expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze with recent hullabaloo about National Exam Center. We’ll remind you that Dimitri Shashkin, Minister of Education of Georgia sacked Maia Miminoshvili, head of National Center.

PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
20.11.2018
21.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6593
2.6741
EUR
1
EUR
3.0369
3.0581
GBP
1
GBP
3.4199
3.4421
RUB
100
RUB
4.0356
4.0707
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6741
EUR
1
EUR
3.0581
GBP
1
GBP
3.4421
RUB
100
RUB
4.0707