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Tbilisi Changing “Old Friends” for “New Ones”

02.07.2008 14:00

The Tbilisi authorities continue its efforts to discredit the mediatory and peacekeeping role of Russia in resolution of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. To this end, Georgia permanently maintains tension in the zone of conflict, seeking to generate favorable propaganda support of the success in this direction and inspire a reaction of the West, which is advantageous to Tbilisi.

But the mischief of it is that many countries of the world have their own view of the problem and are not going to permanently connive at the actions of the Georgian rulers. In particular it relates to the UN Secretary General’s Group of Friends of Georgia (Russia, Germany, France, USA and Great Britain), which not always unconditionally supports the aggressive policy of the Georgian authorities with respect to Abkhazia and sometimes rather toughly urges M. Saakashvili “to damp his ardour” in resolution of territorial disputes. So, Tbilisi made a decision to have more intensive contacts with the so-called New Group of Georgia’s Friends (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Sweden).

For this purpose in mid June the Georgian leadership submitted to “the new friends” its proposals on resolution of the situation. The key idea of the document is the same- terminate the CIS peacekeeping operation, withdraw Russian peacekeepers from Abkhazia, replace Russian troops with a EU police force, elaborate a new negotiation format and reintegrate Abkhazia into Georgia.

Thus, Tbilisi once again confirmed that its policy towards forceful resolution of the conflict remains unchanged, and to this end prefers to change “the old friends” for “new ones”. But it forgot to ask the Abkhazians if these “new friends of Georgia” are acceptable to them or not.