Russia threatens
29 May, 2014
Russia threatens
“It is Georgia’s sovereign right to sign the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU, but it should also understand possible consequences of the decision.” This statement was made by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Alexander Lukashevich. Russia stresses that it appreciates the will of other independent countries. However, federation threatens. The spokesperson reminded the Georgians that Russia has already become the number three trade partner for Georgia.
Lukashevich says that signing the AA will affect the Georgian-Russian bilateral
and financial-economic relations, and Georgia should consider the consequences. The spokesperson also touched upon the statement made by the Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania several days ago, asking NATO to deploy its air-defense weapons in Georgia.
“Some politicians in Georgia aspire joining NATO at any cost without thinking that it may damage security of other states,” Lukashevich states, calling the appeal “alarming.” He also asks the question: “From whom these systems, if deployed, should protect the Georgian territory.”
Responding to the statement by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili who said that “everything will be alright,” he shared the aspiration and “verbal statement” of Putin voiced by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, that Russia would not interfere in Georgian-EU relations.
Member of the Parliamentary minority United National Movement, Davit Darchiashvili, states that Russia keeps its positions unchanged. He states that Russia owns many levers to create threats to the Georgian sovereignty.
Analyst Kakha Gogolashvili believes that Russia somehow accepted the notion that Georgia, Moldova and even Ukraine will sign the Association Agreement. “ However, it is a short term perspective. As it seems, Russia is elaborating a long-term plan how to change the situation positively for its interests in the future. Fellow analyst Tornike Sharashenidze is sure that the most “critical” period for Georgia will start after the signing of the agreement. According to him, Georgia is becoming more and more linked to the Russian market since the traditional markets like Armenia and Kazakhstan are entering the Custom’s Union. Finding new markets for Georgian business as well as new investments inside the country are hardly achievable.
Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze told Georgian Journal that Russia is much presumed to close its market right after signing the AA. “The closure will cause negative attitude in terms of Europe and European values. Herewith, Russia has already launched a very active campaign that Europe opposes traditional values. The information campaign is not opposed in Georgia. People do not have much information as well how risky the Russian market is. Unfortunately, the current government does nothing to decrease the threats. The government creates boasted hopes concerning AA, and less outcomes, as well as closure of Russian market will create serious threats for Georgia’s EU path,” the analyst states. She stresses that the public should find intellectual recourse to resist and oppose the very negative information war from Russia in terms of European values, as Georgia has a single choice between freedom and slavery.
Professor Korneli Kakachia stresses that the “key issue” for Russia are the Georgian-NATO relations, and the main message of the statement was on the topic. “Georgian and Russian interest do not meet. Georgian officials hope that Russia will change, on its turn, Russia demands Georgia to change its aspirations. The fact is that very soon both sides will finally come to the view that nothing would change in the approaches. Much is depended on the outcome of the NATO Summit. If Georgia gets something worthy out of the Summit, Russia will activate economic sanctions as it did in Moldova,” Kakachia told Georgian Journal. The professor admits that despite the serious risk of the Russian market, Georgia is still going towards it. He believes that Georgia should have acted like Moldova, when the state managed to find an alternative market in the EU. “I can-not see active moves from the government in searching for alternative outcomes. Businesses should actively try to find other markets,” Kakachia states.
Michael Hikari Cecire, a Black Sea and Eurasia regional analyst and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, shares the vision that Russia is more afraid of Georgia’s NATO aspiration. “Though there have been a number of recent provocations, it is likely that Russia nonetheless has not acted more aggressively because it does not see any great likelihood of Georgia joining NATO or the EU in the near to medium term,” Cecire told Georgian Journal.

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