29 May, 2014
Experts started talking about the next embargo

Who has to sign the Association Agreement - Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili or President Giorgi Margvelashvili? There is much talk on this issue as well as on others causing certain disagreement between them. Expert Mamuka Areshidze declares that such sulks add nothing positive to the country’s image.
M.A. – To my mind, the Prime Minister is indeed the first person of the country and he has to sign the Agreement but such bustle
adds nothing positive to the country’s image.
Q. – Some people think that during the next elections the president will not be elected through direct voting but in a somewhat different way…
A. – Let’s once and for all create a constitution that won’t need alteration every minute. At least let’s invite foreign experts so they can assist us.
Q. – Last week the Prime Minster had a rather successful visit to Brussels where he met with Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission. At a joint conference with Gharibashvili, Barroso made an interesting declaration: “Putin promised us that he won’t hinder Georgia’s negotiations to sign the Association Agreement.” So, as it turns out there are back-stage talks on the Georgian issue between the Western political circles and Putin.
A. – Barroso hasn’t said what Putin will do after the signing the Association Agreement, or what’s more, before the NATO Summit in Wales where the giving of MAP to Georgia might be decided on.
Today the main arena of confrontation between the West and Russia is Ukraine and, I’ll say it right away, nobody cares a brass farthing about the Ukrainian people. It’s quite obvious that Putin won’t stop at the annexation of Crimea. His next targets are the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. If Putin rejects these regions it will be understood as neglecting the Russian population and he will become a political corpse. This is well comprehended by the president of Russia as well as by the West. For this reason the battle in Ukraine will go on at a much broader scale. On the background of the events which unfolded in Ukraine very much depends on the agreement between the West and Putin about Georgia.
Q. – Do you want to say that we are an object of discussion?
A. – Yes, unfortunately today Georgia is an object of bargain between great powers. If the West is defeated in Ukraine, their attention will be more specifically concentrated on Georgia. In case the events are unfolded vice versa and Putin loses in Ukraine, the events may take an unfavorable turn for Georgia.
After any deal, the West as well as Russia will act according to their own interests but Russia momentarily will violate the conditions while the West acts in a more refined way. Georgia is a transit country and I say it again – in the long perspective the West won’t cede it. I’ll tell you one story: a couple of days ago Russian militaries erected a motto “South Ossetia” at the Baku-Supsa pipeline in Orchosani. I assure you – the Ukrainian events haven’t worried the West so much as this fact. It was taken as a slap in the face.
Q. – Alexander Lukashevich declared that Georgia should realize where the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union will take Georgia to. Is that a threat?
A. – Yes, it is. It isn’t ruled out that by collecting different reasons Russia may declare another embargo on Georgia. But the real reason won’t be the Association Agreement but the NATO Wales Summit where the issue of giving MAP to Georgia will be discussed. The Georgian authorities should be ready for any scenario; besides they must be prepared to face the embargo without any pain.
Q. – According to Lukashevich, Moscow is worried by the appeal of Irakli Alasania, Minister of Defense, to deploy NATO defense systems in Georgia…
A. – Some people argue whether it was timely to make such a declaration. But generally such issues are being discussed in Georgia as well as in the West and it isn’t a big secret.
Q. – Previous week was interesting from an internal political point of view too. Due to the bonus scandal Dimitry Darbaiseli, Head of the Department of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance resigned from his post. Do you think Minister Sozar Subari strengthened his position?
A. – It’s obvious that issuing such high bonuses to employees is shameful. By the way, I’ve met with representatives of the European structures and they are amazed with why those people whose names are associated with crime are in the authorities. They asked the same question to the authorities but as it seems they received no answer. So, the authorities should take a more sober look at things…
Q. – A few days are left until the local self-governance elections. Judging from the election list of the main “players,” do you think we’ll have such local councils that will manage to work more efficiently?
A. – I can speak about the Georgian Dream’s list. For instance, in Gardabani, those people who during the 2012 parliamentary elections were with the coalition to the end are not included in the list. There are obscure people in it. I can tell you even more – as far as I know the team in authorities exerts pressure independent candidates to withdraw their candidacies. I say nothing about the Nationals whom aren’t folding their arms either.
Q. – I’d like to talk to you about Gigi Ugulava, the ex-mayor of the capital. His legal action was satisfied by the Constitutional Court and Ugulava began his fight to regain the post. Some experts consider that it’s important for him to be the mayor again for at least two weeks in order to secure Nika Melia, the Nationals candidate to the post, with administrative resources.
A. – Ugulava needs to regain the mayor’s post for his personal PR and you’ll witness into what ad it will turn for him. The fact that Ugulava is attempting to become the mayor again confirms that there is a strong fifth column in the authorities. I mean the Prosecutor’s Office rather than the Constitutional Court. One more reason for the powers to take a more sober look at things should be the fact that the majority of the people thinks that the Prosecutor’s Office couldn’t manage to collect such evidence against Ugulava, who was announced guilty, that would not enable the Court to make the above mentioned decision.

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