Ukrainian events and their effects on Georgia
15 May, 2014
Ukrainian events and their effects on Georgia
Georgian Journal talked with journalist Oleg Panfilov about the events in Ukraine which seem to change the world order and made us analyze the democratic values, and how important they are for the modern world. We asked how these events will influence Georgian political life and the craving of the country to join the European political structures.
Q. How would you estimate the events in Ukraine and their influence on Georgia?
A. The events in Ukraine c
an be seen as an attempt to restore the Russian Empire. Of course it takes place through propaganda, an old agency and the KGB. The Kremlin tries to tell us that the mind of Eastern Ukraine is pro-Russian, and these are the people whom they call separatists. Propaganda, which is lying to the people in Russia and Ukraine, is playing the main role here and also attempts to influence the rest of Ukraine and Moldova. Such attempts in Georgia were not successful for Russia and ended up with the occupied territories are officially recognized as occupied right now. I believe that if no one will stop Putin, he will spread his wings towards Georgia too. This is typical aggression, not with the help of his own army but with the help of hirelings and pro-Russian inhabitants of eastern Ukraine.
Q. How do you predict the end of the events in Ukraine?
A. I think in the end it will be good for Ukraine and bad for Putin. And here I want to elaborate on the role of the West. It didn’t act in a good way for Georgia six years ago, but now I see that the West is more concentrated on a joint intention to stop Putin and it remembered all of Putin’s sins during the war with Chechnya: terrorist acts, violation of human rights, repression of free speech, etc. I also think that America is playing the main role in this anti-Putin game. Europe is more bureaucratic, but now it understands and imposes sanctions against Russia and supports Ukraine. The west is apprehensive of the Putin’s expansion politics and his imperial ambitions
Q. How does the Georgian government perceive the Ukrainian events? Is there a readiness to keep on the European track and to prevent Georgia from developing towards such events?
A. Georgia is closer to Europe and it needs more persistence in this direction. But when talking of the Georgian state, we have to take into account that there is a government and an opposition. The opposition supports Ukraine, but within the government there are big differences between the different ministers. Some of them support Ukraine, but others remain neutral, which can be perceived as a pro-Kremlin position. This is bad. On the other hand there is process of lustration. We see that some people in the government do not adhere to modern criteria and that they betray the Georgian state. Their words on the goodness of Putin and that he will not attack Georgia are foolish, which were denied by the same Putin. He dreams of swallowing Georgia. And this are dangerous politics. This is time when the Georgian Dream coalition and the National Movement have to be united under the threat of danger.
Q. Do you see any active steps from the Georgian government towards the integration into the European structures?
A. I think that the government only acts on what was laid out by their predecessor, United National Movement. The process of coming closer to Europe is long process and the National Movement has started it a long time ago. So, Georgian Dream has all the mechanisms to come closer to the European Union in its hand. All they have to do is to not destroy these mechanisms: to sign the Association Agreement and to end this process. It is also important to receive MAP from NATO. And I think that NATO understands the importance of Georgia approaching the organization.

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