“Georgian Side Made First Step to Russia”
22 November, 2012
“Georgian Side Made First Step to Russia”

“Non-visa regime with Russia is very important; I was in Larsi and I saw how many Russian cars entered Georgia and how many tourists there were. It’s a good chance to see what is going on in Georgia. Instead of listening to the Russian radio and watching Russian TVs, it is a good decision to give them a chance to see how peaceful is the people who live in Georgia. I hope that the percentage of the Russian tourists will

grow up and next year we’ll see more of them arriving in Georgia.”


We had the pleasure to meet with Mrs. Elita Gavele, highest representative of the Latvian diplomatic corps in Georgia a year ago. For her, it was her first interview in Georgia and her first interview in the capacity of an ambassador; she started her first ambassadorial mission in our country. Now Georgian Journal set out to find out how she perceived the latest events that took place in Georgia. Her Excellency Ambassador admits that working in Georgia is “very interesting”. She remains an optimist in everyday life as well as in politics. Ms. Elita Gavele thinks that there is no doubt about the bright future for Georgia and praises the new government’s unchanged foreign policy course.
G. J: What did Georgia gain in the eye of International Community by handing over the power peacefully?
E.G: It has been unanimously acknowledged that Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections of October 1 were definitely fair. We, all members of the diplomatic corps were observing it quite closely. Latvia probably had the most numerous short-term observers – more than 20 persons, who were sent from Latvia to observe elections in recent years.The elections themselves demonstrated a big victory for Georgia. The new government was elected by the people of Georgia and we appreciate it. In Latvia, there is an unwritten rule that we can’t criticize the new government during the first100 days. I think that it would be very good if Georgia adopts the same rule and it refrains from criticism for 100 days. I hope that you have a bright future and there is no doubt about it. The important thing for Latvia is the recent visits of Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, as well as the Minister of Euro-Atlantic Integration and the Minister of Defence to Brussels and all the information that they provided to the high officials in Brussels. It is very important to continue Georgia’s road to the European Union and the NATO which is the most important signals for us.
G.J: How close have we approached the NATO and the European Union by handing over the power peacefully and fairly?
E.G: Of course, you are closer now than before. Everyone in the European Union and the NATO praised Georgia for the fair and democratic elections and this is one big step forward to the integration into those international structures. Of course, it is just a process and you still have to do your homework. I can’t say and nobody can say the exact date and year when you’ll enter the NATO and the European Union but it is a normal process and Georgia has gained many pluses in this process.
G.J: What do you recommend, what should the new government do first and foremost not to lose the high trust of Georgian people?
E.G: In spite of being a foreign diplomat which stops me from actively giving recommendations outspokenly, I still have one advice: continue your aspiration to Euro-Atlantic structures.It is also a big plus that the officials working with furthering Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic structures are highly-skilled professionals and do their work very professionally with great faith in the success.
G.J: In your opinion, what will change in the Georgian politics and how feasible is improving our relations with Russia?
E.G: Of course, normalizing the relationship with Russia is an inseparable part of your foreign policy, not only your aspiration to the European Union and the 5NATO. It’s one of the top issues and absolutely necessary to deal with. Good luck to new Georgian government in that direction! It was very reasonable of them to appoint Mr. Zurab Abashidze as a special representative who will take care of Georgian-Russian relations. As I know, he is a very well-known person in Russia and he is respected there, as well as in Georgia, which is very important – to have a high reputation in Russia and Georgia at the same time. That’s why I think it was a good choice. Good luck to him when he starts talks and negotiations with Russia and as your government said, they are still waiting for Russia to nominate a counterpart to Mr. Abashidze or make some move like that as a reciprocal gesture. The Georgian side made the first step, which is something very positive. Also, the visa-free regime with Russia is very important and when I visited this summer Larsi, I saw how many Russian cars entered Georgia and how many tourists arrived in Georgia; It’s a good chance to see what is going on in Georgia. Instead of listening to the Russian radio and watching Russian TVs, it is a good decision to give them a chance to see how peaceful is the people who live here, in Georgia. I hope that the percentage of Russian tourists will grow up and next year we’ll see a lot more of Russians arriving in Georgia. I see that the heart of Georgians is always open to receive guests. I’ve visited many places – Batumi, Sighnaghi, Telavi, Svaneti, Mtskheta, etc. I think I have traveled around most of the country, and I saw many Russian tourists who were visiting Georgia and they were happy to discover that there are some differences to what they viewed on TVs and heard on radio as if Georgia is the enemy number one to Russia. I am convinced that any tourist, not only from Russia, who once visits Georgia, will leave it with best memories and the intention to return.
G.J: What should Georgia learn from your country’s experience?
E.G: I think our patience, the patience of Latvia and Latvian people that we showed during our economic crisis in the year of 2008 and afterwards. There were very few countries and politicians who believed that we would survive and regain our strength, and we’d be back on the world map, but we did it and I know and feel that Latvia is one of the best examples for other countries how to deal with such kind of situations. In addition, we are encouraged by the Latvian – Georgian bilateral projects that allow us to share our experience with the Georgian colleagues. As one of the most important designs, I would like to mention proposed project between the Corruption Prevention and Combatting Bureau of Latvia and the State Audit of Georgia called “Strengthening the monitoring of Funding of Political Parties and Election Campaigns in Georgia”. Considering that the Corruption Prevention and Combatting Bureau of Latvia has a great deal of experience of tracking financial flows during the pre-elections period, I think it is a very worthwhile project for Georgia to help improve knowledge and skills of working with political parties during the pre-elections period.
G.J: What qualities of Latvian character helped you overcome the crisis?
E.G: Being calm and organized. Our Prime Minister Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis did his best in a very calm and balanced way, despite the fact that it was difficult to overcome the cut-downs in the budget, especially for the people who worked in the ministries and state institutions. In such case, neither strikes, nor rallies can help you, because you can go to some rally and take advantage of the freedom of expression but it will change nothing, when you have limited resources in the budget and are facing huge problems. In that case, it is better to work hard. Many people left Latvia and it’s very pitiful for us, but we still think about improving our economic situation and we still think that a lot of people will come back because all of us have only one home. You will always be a foreigner abroad and I think Latvians can be compared to Georgians because we are both very domestic peoples, attached to our land. We need our soil, our friends and relatives close to us and we are always homesick when we are away. Even a lot of money does not compensate being abroad. There is a big wave of new immigrants from Latvia now most of which went to Great Britain, Ireland and Germany, and they had no problems in finding their jobs as we are the EU member country. And one more feature - we are a very hard-working nation. We realize that only heavy, everyday work can make our country richer. But still, as a conclusion of our conversation, I want to add that during this one year that I am here, I saw a lot of good changes in Georgia and I strongly believe in Georgia’s success story.
Georgian Journal thanks Latvia and its ambassador to Georgia for her kind disposition, her support and good wishes, as well as for cordial and hospitable reception. We congratulate her on Latvia’s Independence Day. We wish all the best to Latvia, our friendly country.

 

 

 

Print
Other Stories
International observers about the presidential election in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
First Ladies of Independent Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia. It was the last election in which the president will be selected by popular vote.
Funny incidents on Election Day in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
Deadline for the second round of presidential elections in Georgia is December 2
Presidential elections were held on the 28th of October in Georgia. None of the candidates managed to get majority of votes, so the second round of elections is to be appointed.
The USA National Security Advisor John Bolton is in Georgia
National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton visited Georgia today.
People are detained at the Cannabis Festival
Today, Georgian political movement Girchi holds an event in the Dedaena Park called the Cannabis Festival.
Top safest countries and Georgia is among them - new survey says
Georgia is among the safest countries in the world. This fact is substantiated by various surveys and researches.
Who is interested in the cultivation of cannabis in Georgia?
Several weeks ago the government announced about its initiative to legalize the cultivation of medical marijuana in Georgia.
Fight in Gori – head of administration uses a bin full of manure
There was an incident yesterday in Gori municipality, Georgia at the entrance of the municipality building.
2 Georgian detainees freed from the Tskhinvali prison
Georgian detainees Maia Otinashvili and Akaki Dotiashvili are freed from the Tskhinvali prison. They had been accused of illegally crossing a so-called the borderline into the occupied Tskhinvali region.
Georgia might provide Far East countries with armored vehicles
LEPL State Military Scientific-Technical Center "Delta" might provide several Far East countries with armored vehicles, - “Delta” has informed InterPressNews about it.
Who can be the next first lady of Georgia?
On the 28th of October, presidential elections will be held in Georgia. The last elections in October 2013 resulted in a victory for Giorgi Margvelashvili, a candidate of the Georgian Dream (the ruling party).
Another Georgian kidnapped at the occupational line, stays detained
Maia Otinashvili (a mother of three children) was detained in her own garden on the 19th of September. Eyewitnesses claim that she was kidnapped by armed people with masks.
Fight broke out in the Georgian TV show
Fight in the Georgian Show Archevani (a choice) broke out between the guests yesterday.
7 amendments that come in force today in Georgia
On the 1st of October, 7 new amendments come in force in Georgia.
Speaker of the parliament plays Knockin' on Heaven's Door
What do the politicians do when they have free time? It is an interesting issue in every country.
What are the new New Year decorations for Tbilisi
New Year decorations and its price in Tbilisi is always a matter of discussion in the capital.
Mamuka Bakhtadze gives a speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly
Mamuka Bakhtadze, the prime minister of Georgia is attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly from the 24th of September.
Georgia will ban use, import and production of plastic bags
The Georgian government has decided to tighten rules regulating use of plastic bags in Georgia.
The parliament returns to Tbilisi
The Parliament of Georgia will continue working in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia from January 2019. Currently, the building is located in Kutaisi (west Georgia).
Mamuka Bakhtadze is visiting the USA within the working visit
The Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze Brought a wreath to the tomb of the Georgian military serviceman John Malkhaz Shalikashvili.
Use of plastic bags to be reduced from the 1st of October
Within the framework of the Green Economics and Environmental Protection Policy the Georgian government has approved new regulations
Four Russian Journalists have not been allowed to enter Georgia
Three members of the Russian delegation were not allowed to enter Georgia as this would have violated the Law on the Occupied Territories of Georgia.
Tbilisi sign may appear on the Funicular hill
Hollywood has become a source of inspiration for many people worldwide. A similar idea from a Tbilisi citizen sounds very clever and attractive.
Russia was at an undeclared war with Georgia for years - Matthew Bryza
I think anybody who has observed how Russia has been conducting its war in Ukraine should realize that Russia was at war with Georgia, an undeclared war for years,
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
17.11.2018
18.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6727
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
4.0447
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6727
EUR
1
EUR
3.0268
GBP
1
GBP
3.4240
RUB
100
RUB
4.0447
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30