Overt & Covert Dangers of the 1920 Russian-Georgian Treaty
07 October, 2010
Overt & Covert Dangers of the 1920 Russian-Georgian Treaty

Based on that Agreement, Zhordania demanded of France and England to leave the Batumi Port. Their leaving Georgia was an absolute catastrophe for the country. Georgia was left alone in confrontation with Russia. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.
GJ – In the duration of the three-year history of the Georgian Democratic Republic, the Georgian military units had rebuffed the Russian aggression many times. In 1920, Georgia had a very realistic chance of liberating the entire South Caucasus from the Russian

violence, but Noah Zhordania made a flagrantly unlikely decision of stopping the fight of Georgian troops against the Russian Bolshevik forces, having ordered them to retreat. I would like to hear more comment on this. 
SM – Not only he did stop the military action of his troops, he also continued acting behind the back of the Georgian army: he commissioned the most untalented among the Georgian diplomats Grigol Uratadze, who was Georgia’s ambassador to Russia at that time, to conduct diplomatic negotiations with Lenin.
GJ –What did he want to negotiate with Russia? 
SM – The end of war! What else?
GJ – Isn’t it a paradox that a winning party ask for negotiating the end of war? 
SM – On the 7th of May, Uratadze (he was hurriedly made Georgia’s foreign minister) and Karakhan - the deputy to the Russian foreign minister Chicherin signed the Russian-Georgian Treaty in Moscow.
GJ – What did the Treaty envisage?
SM – That was a disastrous document for Georgia. In compliance with the Treaty, Russia recognized Georgia’s territorial integrity. Also, Russia considered the lands, which are today within the boundaries of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as integral part of Georgia (incidentally, the-then recognized Georgian territory was 50 % bigger than what it is today). At the same time, Georgia was being declared a neutral state, with Russia as a guarantor of its neutrality. As you might remember, the Bolshevik Russia had recognized the independence of Georgia as early as 1918 in compliance with the treaty, signed by Russia with Germany. Although the Treaty lost its power on part of Germany for the reasons mentioned before, the Bolshevik Russia continued to be the Bolshevik Russia! There was no need at all for us to have been recognized by Russia all over again in 1920. This statement makes sense because Russia itself was not yet recognized by the West. The mentioned Russian-Georgian Treaty also stipulated that Georgia would not allow the bourgeois military units on its territory.     
GJ – What did that mean specifically? 
SM – Based on that Treaty, Noah Zhordania demanded of France and England to leave the Batumi port.
GJ – Were the French and English military units stationed in Batumi?
SM – Yes, they were. They had a military base in Batumi. Their leaving Georgia was an inevitable fiasco for Georgia. 
GJ – That would have left Georgia confronted with Russia all by itself, wouldn’t it? 
SM – Sure! One-on-one! On top of everything else, the Treaty was allowing the legal existence and activity of the Communist Party in Georgia. Also, a 500-strong Russian embassy was planned to open in Tbilisi, the majority of which were supposed to be former Bolshevik saboteurs. Politically speaking, it was a diplomatic corps, but in reality it was a group of 500 terrorists sent over to work on the downfall of Georgia, endorsed by Zhordania himself. Communists Philip Makharadze and Sasha Gegechkori strutted in the streets of Tbilisi with diplomatic passports in their pockets. They learnt the local situation, doing their subversive job and building up the project of opening the way for the Russian occupational troops into Tbilisi.
GJ – Were any Georgians among the Russian embassy staff?
SM – Yes, there were. Georgians made up a considerable part of the Russian embassy, but they were traitors. The Treaty was not yet enforced when Zhordania organized a major assembly of the Second International (an organization of socialist and labor parties) in Tbilisi with the participation of Marxists, Socialists and revolutionaries, among them Messrs. McDonalds and Kautski – absolutely unacceptable folks for the British government. Such were the mistakes made by the Zhordania government: he made no efforts to drive the Russians out of the South Caucasus; he secretly signed with Russians the disastrous for the nation Treaty, declaring the Georgian state and its army neutral; he turned Georgia into a haven for socialists and communists; he forced the French and English military units and fleet to withdraw from Georgia.   
GJ – What do you think, was all that being done deliberately or was the result of lack of experience. 
SM – It is hardly imaginable that a government of any nation could be that ignorant . . . Let us not impose the answer on our readers and give them a chance to make their own educated conclusions. Unfortunately, we have had no access so far to classified and undisclosed state archives of the Russian president. We are not certain about genuine relations between the Georgian leader of that time Noah Zhordania and the head of Russian Bolsheviks Lenin. (Presumably, they were good enough). It is also strange that the signatory of the Russian-Georgian Treaty Uratadze is not noticeable anywhere before and after as a state figure and person.    
GJ – Would this mean that he did his job and then disappeared? 
SM – Most probably, yes! It is a fact though that he was not a political figure, but he had good relations with the Russian Bolsheviks. Judging by the results of his activity, this constituted treason of national interests of Georgia. On the other hand, as I said, there will be no certainty whether it was a simple narrow-mindedness or treason until the Russian presidential archives are disclosed.

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