The developments in Ukraine

Posted by globalresearcheng on Mar 30th, 2014 and filed under Workshops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

On 27February Global Research Center conducted a seminar on the developments in Ukraine.Participants of the seminar were the following experts: Soso Tsintsadze, Ramaz Sakvarelidze, Soso Archvadze, Valerian Gorgiladze, PetreMamradze, Zaza Firalashvili, Nana Devdariani, representatives of The Club of Young Political Analysts- Irakli Ubilava and Giorgi Mdivani, as well as journalists.

Petre Mamradze: like all of us, I have also been observing the situation in Ukraine for many years and since 1992 very closely due to its importance. The situation resembles to the condition of other post soviet countries, when society is not ready, civil society is not developed enough to control the authority on daily basis.

As you know, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, people see it-even without control, i.e. without daily connection and feedback, people see, the wrath accumulates, then breaks out and therefore revolution takes place in this or that way; new government comes into power and everything starts over.

Countries of Latin America have undergone these processes for many times, with relevant consequences so to speak.I have told in my speeches, if you buy fresh meat even of the best quality and put it without a fridge and see it after 60 days, you will see that it is stinking. Nobody is surprised by this; however when they find out that a political group, after coming into power 2-3 years later becomes extremely corrupted, have toilet seats worth€ 360 000,  they are surprised by this fact-but not by the previous one. This works as the law of thermodynamic in physics.

I want to remind you that Yanukovych was prime minister in 2004 and after rigging the elections (the main thing is that the population perceivesit as rigged), the orange revolution took place. As for Russia’s role, it is enough to remark that president Putin has repeatedly congratulated Yanukovych on his presidency. When everything was over, the President Putin claimed that he was misinformed.

Nana Devdariani: he had the right information, but would not assume that Ukraine would go to the third round.

Petre Mamradze: then, as you know the government of Yushchenko-Tymoshenko was not as good as to prevent people from making other choice, though with small difference Yanukovych got 49% and Tymoshenko-44%, as far as I remember. i.e. they still voted for Yanukovych. Can you imagine the attitude of Ukrainians towards them? Moreover, Ukrainians have told me that Tymoshenko for them was the symbol of elite corruption.

Today, this woman is out of jail as a heroine and declares right after leaving prison that she will fight and etc. Furthermore, when Yanukovych became the president, he appointed his son’s, Aleksandre’s brotherhood on key positions and the governance of “predatory”, as it is called inside or outside the Ukraine and the results of which is evidenthad started. Ukraine has foreign debt of $ 49 billion. The assets of Yanukovych and his family are estimated $ 12 billion. I do not make up the numbers, you can verify.

Azarov has fled to Paris, while he used to tell Ukrainians that they did not need Europe. He fled there, where number of companies is incorporated on his wife and the turnover of each company amounts maybe not to billions but millions – certainly. I have had the contact with Ukrainians these years, not tight but constant and with other experts as well.

This was seen entirely in eastern Ukraine and Kharkiv, where I worked for 3 years as a physicistin the world center; physical-technical Institute of Kharkiv, where the first cyclotron of Europe was made in 30-ies. Landau and other famous scientists worked there. I know Kharkiv and everything around it; it is an organic part of Russian military industrial complex.

In western Ukraine, they also saw that there is such a level of corruption and government. I agree with everybody and it has been written by experts for many times that a declaration made by Yanukovych last year, one week earlier signing the Association Agreement that he would not sign it, was just an excuse, a spark, similar to throwing a match in a gunpowder barrel. There were people for whom the symbol, Association Agreement, was valuable.

It is true that Syria has also signed it, but it did not reflect in it much, Turkey also signed it 50 years ago and 30 other countries and etc., there was a symbol in it.The factthat Yanukovych has openly stated: -Putin ordered me and that’s why I can’t sign,was a great challenge and started what should have started.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: Neither Azerbaijansigns it, but it does not mention Russia, Yanukovych has peached on him.

Petre Mamradze: If Alyev leads this national line in Azerbaijan, we have our Azerbaijanian way. Yanukovych was telling Ukrainians for 2 years that he was going to sign it….. Why was he promising then, who was pulling him on the tongue?!

Nana Devdariani: If anyone has read the interview of Sergei Glaziev, he directly says- when asked Ukrainians if they are aware ofwhat they are signing, Ukrainians said that the agreement generally, was good. When they have thousand-page document translated and read, not only Yanukovych but members of economic team were surprised to have agreed on this.

Now I would like to draw a parallel with our current condition. When Premier Gharibashvili had a dinner with Jose Manuel Barrosso, after the end of the dinner he joked-we have broken all records, we have gone through everything regarding the agreement within one dinner. This means that Gharibashvili did not have any questions regarding thousand-page document. Gharibashvili made a statement on business conference, several days ago, that they would take protective measures and support local entrepreneurs that directly contradict the agreement.

This is impossible under the terms of the agreement; however the core countries have their own, multi-billion agriculture on subsidy. The agreement directly tells you that you can not do it, but you keep saying that you can, not because Gharibashvili opposed the EU, but he really believes that he can, i.e. our government does not have any questions regarding theagreement.

Petre Mamradze: No; as you are aware of my working experience, I would like to tell you that even Vaclac Klaus, the Czech Prime Minister and then President,one of the leading economists of Europe, who worked with the Monetary Fund very closely, was setting the terms and that the other party was grateful for it. You knowitsconsequencesin Czech Republic.

I witnessed, here in Georgia, our economists and officials told Monetary Fund and the World Bank that they would act correspondingly to what they would write or give them. However good people and specialist are working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but actually there is no political will or view for this and don’t be surprised as Gharibashvili is 30 years old and he has beaten every record in terms of age and experience… The average age of Premier in Europe is 56 years, 2 times more than in Georgia – 30. I will get back to Yanukovych; he has been promoting the Agreement for 2 years, like Misha-Map and NATO.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: this was flattery image of Yanukovych towards his pro-European population; we don’t have such attitude in the population. So this is flattery for National Movement. When you make political decision, you shall make it based on the reason, shall not you? There – in the Ukraine – the motive was to appease population while here-Nationals.

Petre Mamradze: Let’s get back to the Ukraine, position of Yanukovych and total corruption…

Nana Devdariani: 2 weeks ago, European Commission released rowdy report on the scales of corruption in the EU …..

Petre Mamradze: corruption is estimated € 12 billion.

Nana Devariani: this is catastrophic level of corruption; on this background, corruption of Yanukovych is not worth mentioning. It is easy to cause outrage in population. I remember foolish photos of Rustavi 2, when they posted them before the “Rose Revolution”, as if Shavardnazde bought a palace in Baden-Baden. It is obvious that it was fraudulent. It is a matter of technology, as corruption is in Europe and the US as well.

Now, I am looking for the real reason, what causedthe events on Maidan. Initially, when people cameout against government, it was understandable, neither people in modern history shall want government. I see when someone is furious because his /her kids are starving when governments have golden toilet seats.

I really don’t get another thing – bringing such examples – but actually we know that this was the response to the statement of Yanukovych-what will you do when my country is under the crises and Europe replied:nothing, do whatever you want. What I want to say is that we have lost the point, what all this started about and how did it end. And I have another question; we have been told repeatedly for a year about cohabitation and why don’t they ask for it there?

Petre Mamradze: It is completely clear why they did not ask for it. Cohabitation is requested for the following reason: many leaders of the West and US hadturned blind eye and had not made any public statement against Saakashvili and his regime, back then.

This was that time; I underline that, when the most influential organizations of the West, e.g Human Rights Commissioner of Europen Council, Thomas Hammarberg, Nobel Prize Laureate and others wrote about what was going on in Georgia.

Has anyone Rasmussen, or Hillary Clinton, or others come out and publicly said that they doubt? When it is written that acquittal in Georgian court is -0.01%, when in the Soviet Union during Brezhnev it was 23%.

Soso Tsintsadze: and what can we do with it? When Nixon handed the list of political prisoners to Soviet leaders during Soviet Union it was 25 men; and we have already released 200.

Petre Mamradze: why did Misha name Clinton a scary woman? Citing-don’t think that she is scary woman; because “the scary woman” told the Prime Minister Gilauri in Washington in 2008: this is your last elections. If you declare that you win, we will say that you have usurped the authority, as you can not win without using repressions and administrative resource.

I don’t justify it of course. After that, when Saakashvili was shouting out, that he was pro-western, he was offering free cannon fodder as much as they wanted. Developments took such a course that, when the US Deputy Ministerof Defense arrived here three years ago, Misha publicly announced that he is offering America, Georgia to be the transit route for NATO supplies to Afghanistan.As you know, Russia is the transit route and 90% of cargo passes through there.

When asked by the reposrters, what would be his answer to Misha’s offer, he said-I told your president that at first he shall appeal to Pentagon with similar suggestion and then talk.You can thus evaluate the quality of irritation.

I am saying that what Yanukovych did was the last spark. I want to add that, actually, as per the assessment of their best experts and political analysts, EU has made thecascade of grave errors towards Ukraine. On this background, Mr. Yanukovych bargains. The fact that Yanukovych is Putin’s man is a myth.

Soso Tsintsadze: he is a man of money.

Petre Mamradze: he is a man of money. Is Rinat Akhmetov now Putin’s man? Or group of Donetsk who took billions? Oligarchs could not allow Yanukovych flatter the oligarchs of Putin. It was excluded.

The former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency said the day before yesterday that what happened in Ukraine is “just internal crises of the Ukraine” and we should not claim in America that everything is in hands of Russia and etc. I am not stating that Russia has nothing to do with it, as it actually does, but this mansaid in terms of influence.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: the author of the project is Russia….

Petre Mamradze: It is not indeed.

Nana Devdariani: however, I can directly tell you my personal evaluation is that I can barely recall such cynical, direct intervention as it was in Ukraine from the West, this was peak.

Soso Tsintsadze: we have gathered here now as people claiming to be political experts or the audience of noble woman gymnasium? This is politics. Is it not the direct interference in Syria? It is everywhere. The main thing is that this strategy of Russia succeeds in one of the largest countries of Europe, Ukraine with 46 million population, as in Georgia. Russia has not invented anything creative yet.

It is the same; it will probably adopt a law to simplify admittance to citizenship, start conffering passports, as in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is time to forget about Yanukovych, He will go somewhere, live and won’die of hunger. If within 1 week at most, the problem of Crimea won’t be resolved, Sevastopol is there. Petre was right when he said, not organically interrelated but it is same as to cut off upper part of the human body and leave lower part.

This is the military-industrial complex; firstly the advanced technologies- the overall Russia’s fifth generation helicopters are released with Ukrainian nodes and engines. The rocket constructor factory in Dnepropetrovsk was the largest in the Soviet Union; Kuchma, who was the hero of Socialist Labor, was its general director.

Interference in the affairs of other countries has always been taking place. Israel did the same and so did Napoleon and Georgian kings, whenever they could and were capable of. Let’s say frankly, Russia has been acting the same way, not that Russia won’t give in but can’t, it is ruled out.

Thus, some officials of Europe were still stating within last 3-4 days, that it can not be solved without Russia and we shall get used to it, but how can we accept it on the background of our stupid dimplomats, that neither problem is resolved in Post Soviet area without Russia.

Nana Devdariani: The latest information that comes from Europe:in Europethey have started to realize and speak loudly that their main mistake was when they made the Ukraine face the alternative-EU or Russia.

Soso Tsintsadze: were notwe made to face it? Let us draw our conclusion, domestic. There was a letter in “Guardian” recently, whereBrzezinski is talking about “Finlandization” of Ukraine.

You can either trample me or burn but I think that this issue is the most optimal for Georgia, but not ideal of course. Georgia won’t be able to accept better one.  We all have been to Finland, what was it like even during Soviet Union, classical capitalist country.  Freedom of speech, press, demonstrations, travelling to Europe, freedom in Parliament and etc…

But at large conventions-the oath of loyalty of Russia. This was the politics similar to what Nazarbayev is conducting today. Have you seen Nazarbayev’s project of Euroasian Union? I will also sign this project but Putin did not even want to discuss it. Thus we have to find something, think of something; the rest is lyrics, folklore- how much Yanukovych has stolen and so on. I call for being pragmatists.

I know very well what the Association agreement is. 17 pages out of 1000 pages are only allocated to prohibiting criticism of sexual minorities. If they have right, why don’t I have the right to say that I don’t like it?Well, if I come out on May, 17 and say that I don’t like it do I have to go to jail?

The 1000 page document will be published later this month. It was in English but the report of Tagliavini also was in English. Tell me, who has read it from the beginning to end? From where does the European values start? Here is the simple thing, let’s say traffic rules on the street.

You are driving on Rustaveli avenue and some old, young, girl, kid, woman will run across you….once we were in Brussel, the street was empty so we head for and crossed it. The red lightwas lit and the car was not coming everybody stood and waited but we looked around, as we are used to and only after that we crossed the street.

Our Prime Minister comes out and says terrible thing- what can we do, our law did not ban our officials to buy car for 200,000! If you state that you are going towards European values, laws do not forbid everything in Europe but values and morals do more.

So, while we have such attitude that everything is permitted unless law prohibits, we can not talk about any European values. How can it be written in law for instance that Paata Zakareishvili has larger car than house.

That’s the way how, we shall start with; by introducing the values in our life before we become EU members; you shall remember statement of Peter Semneby, after he got fed up, that nobody will let you near to Europe for 30 years and to NATO_never. Very thin stratum of officials is formed here, whose personal well-being is linked to the process.

Of course, Alasania and Petriashvili prefer to travel to Paris and Brussels than in Moscow. 70% of the income of our authorities is traveling allowances. They have enormous travel allowances approved by the parliament; every country of the whole Europe does not have such huge provisions for business travel like they have. They make € 2000-3000 from each business trip and will you be able to persuade them? This is that very thin stratum that will hang you on the tree and accuse you of Russian espionage.

Now I am telling you what will happen in Scotland at summit; they won’t give us any MAP and the Premier reassured us that we won’t be given MAP but something else; just like Gia Baramidze said when he arrived from Bucharets and told us that we were not given MAP but something better. I have spent half of my life in the country where I was told that the next generation will live in communism, now I am cheated that the next generation will live in NATO, but neither Alasania nor any other believe this and want to convince us.

Do you know what the way out is? When Ukraine confronted the west with alternative, they put their hands in their pocket. It did not give $ 3 billion to Belarus that time and gave to Russia.  Now it was not giving $ 15 billion to Ukraine and today offers € 20 billion adding that- it is a prepayment and more will come from America.

Believe me, finally people will say that 70% is in favor today, and thenafter another 2 summits in NATO 50% will remain and the number will keep going down, it won’t go up, that is the process; and another thing, if we are in difficulty and asked to tighten our belts, let government do the same. But today this people look at the photos that are spread everyday, Alasania sitting with “bow tie” as an English lord in fashionable hotel, where one 1 cup of coffee costs € 50 and for them looking at it this amount is a month pension.

More motives are required to why we are sending troops to Central Africa. Has Ban Ki-Moon asked all countries that there is a genocide and send them? I don’t understand, why American soldier in Afghanistangets $ 7-8 thousands and Georgian soldier $700? Why, life of our soldiers is so much cheaper? We are 3 million and they are 140 million, political correctness forbids this.

Besides, there are many problems in our country. Recently, I was in Guria; people forgot about famine and everything and all they worry about is mosques. This fact reminded me of deceased Bismarck, why he was in favor of uniting Austria and Prussia; Austria was catholic and Prussia- protestant, however both people were German.

Bismarck believed that religious difference is stronger than ethnic unity; add the fact that we are dealing with Islam, the only religion which is the architect of state. There is no let’s say Catholic Republic of Poland but there is Islamic Republic of Iran. These are the issues, challenges and threat that country face. The fact is that Russia can not concede Ukraine and yet should not lead the Ukraineto the point to promote separatism.

Petre Mamradze: I will say one thing, during the interview of Victoria Nuland with the ambassador, where he says, excuse me “Fuck You”, meaning more like ignore; however, the main thing is that everything is scheduled, how Klitschko shall act, Yatseniuk and etc. what is more important, George Pinman, that you all are familiar with, writes an excellent article that this is a brilliant move of American Diplomacy, absolutely necessary after that stagnating condition as the circumstances in which the plans of Putin are today and dynamic of its implementation, such involvement is essential, it will change balance.

I want to move on what is happening in Ukraine, since Yanukovych started brazen deal with Putin and EU, this caused both parties, primarilyEU, not to have a deal with Yanukovych. Meanwhile, default is expected in Ukraine in March.

As for eastern Ukraine, let’s take Donetsk, Donbas, vitally important modernization of local economy has not been launched yet. As an example, there are still open-hearth furnaces, which are no longer used even in Africa. They have not moved on oxygen convertible furnace yet, therefore labour productivity is 5-6 times lower than in the world. Energy consumption on per ton of molten steel is 3-4 times higher than in theworld. The entire pool, several million people, who has nothing else left to get by, even not vegetable gardens, exist only by the fact that they still work there, another thing is how they work. We have one symbolic mine in Georgia, Tkibuli, which is a drop in the ocean and since the collapse of the Soviet Union we have been thinking on how to help it for so many years and etc.. The same is true in Ukraine, nothing has evenstarted there. The point is that neither International Monetary Fund nor The World Bank will give such amount of “cash” to Ukraine, it is excluded.

American experts write that Putin can directly give the “cash” to eastern Ukraine and win time, but what then? Enormous region with its millions of population, which depends on those unprofitable enterprises; what do you want to do under the current conditions in 2014; here is the problem- after the dissolution of the Soviet Union modernization, actual-comprehensive reforms not only has not been conducted but even started, in Ukraine lik in Georgia. We are saved that we did not have heavy industry.

Nana Devdariani: we have destroyed what we had…

SosoTsintsadze: one perspective for us that can be advantageous is that Russia will be forced not to leave Ukraine alone on the money of West but pay despite its will. 2% economic growth of Russia has already been reduced to 1.8%; the Minister of Finance yesterday stated that they might need to reconsider it.

Russia simply won’t have money for Abkhazia and South Ossetia that will result in resentment.Let’s say 70% was spent in South Ossetia and half in Abkhazia were they stealing less here? This could work in our favor, as Russia won’t be able to buy loyalty.

Petre Mamradze: grave errors of the revolution are evident. You should be enemy of Ukraine and its people to abolish the status of Russian language. There is harsh reaction in the West and US.  Brzezinski is talking about “Finlandization” as necessary, that Ukraine shall forget about NATO and any other block, which might be irritating for Russia, as he knows what is going on.

In this respect, it is hard to expect that today’s Rada will summon its mind and wisdom and conduct the policy that Ukraine needs and won’t allow the split. No one says that eastern Ukraine will announce and enter Russia but 2 Ukraine and in addition seperate Crimea is complete reality, the threat is very high.

Soso Tsintsadze: why was it necessary to abolish this law?

Nana Devdariani: Do not forget that Nationals came into power…

Petre Mamradze: Bendery used to shoot even those who had a Jewish in the family in 1946-47.

Soso Tsintsadze: one retired KGB man told me that the last Bendery was destroyed in 1959. The Ukraine is actually split, now it is necessary not to finalise the process legally.

Petre Mamradze: rumours are spread in the West that the Ukraine is in need of elections, which may balance Rada. Actually, there is no such power in the world nor West or Russia or inside Ukraine that can unite Ukraine.

Vaka Gorgiladze: basically, I agree with you that recent developments in Ukraine are provoked by the West. The fact that one cultural nation does not exist is fiction. No matter, if we say that the Ukraine is one nation with its cultural traditions and self-conciousness, this is not so. Thus there are fights between symbols; there is Banderas and here is Lenin.

The irony is that the boundaries of modern Ukraine are drawn by Stalin and Lenin. On the one hand, the West Galicia destroys those who created it within modern borders. The interesting fact is not that the West intervened, but that Russia shunned publicly interfering with the internal affairs of Ukraine. Here is kind of complex and Russia was trying to clean up the situation behind the scenes.

I also agree with you that Russia won’t give in the position, as it will weaken Russia and the same will happen in regard with EU, but if Russia can not tolerate it, there are several options of resolving it: first of all it is passports. In case of Crimea, even passports are not required, as it is autonomy and this government and therefore any act published by ithas been illegitimate for 3 months.

There is one problem, Calicia is passionate, the west Ukraine with its ideology is energetic charge of Maidan, and nobody there asks anything to Yatseniuk or Klitschko. In this sense, the only country that maintains influence on them is the US. At that time when Berkuts were captured they addressesed opposition leaders with a request but in vain.

Afterwards, Ministry of Justice contacted the US Ambassy only after their efforts Berkuts were released.  That is key driving force which can create problems to Russia in Kharkiv where both Maidan and anti-Maidan stand. Ability of self-organization in east Ukraine is very low.

If they fail in self-organization, in terms of the same passportization to have the right to intervene legitimately, then there is a threat that Russia might be dragged into the war, on the continent. I actually can’t understand why it’s ok for Europeans.

It’s not Abkhazia or South Ossetia but nation of 46 million people, who is well organized and has army; neither theRussian speaking population are in good conditionin Crimea; for instance now Tatars run supporting actions in Kiev, this is 300 men and 10% of Crimean population. As you know, any revolution is created by energetic minority.

As usual one extremist feeds the other; such strange decisions are made; there was no need to abolish the Charter, Russian language is already there, you took away the language of Hungarians, Romanians, Belarus where many ethnic minorities live as it is multi-ethnic country. The second mistake was making decision on banning Russian federal channels.

They can not accomplish it. All this together with what happened in west Ukraine, I mean possible attack on Russians in Synagogue may become reason for Russia to enter the troops. Thus the circumstance is much tensed. Representatives of our government has to talk with them, Peskov makes a statement and Margvelashvili says that it is not serious and he can not answer him and his press secretary makes a statement, then Putin makes a statement and Alasania says that there is no point in negotiations.

One of the initiatives shall be specific, one of the blocks – political. This is Ukrainian lessons for us, Russia won’t tolerate it.Possible scenario might be on escalating confrontation and drawing Russia into war. Shot of Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo will be just tale if anything erupts there. Any scenario is very bad for us. Thus they shall go and meet them and everything what Putin tells them shall be public.

Irakli Ubilava: the fact that they are abolishing Russian language in Ukraine, isn’t a kind of attempt to incorporate east in west?

Vaka Gorgiladze: Yesterday, Stepan Bandera Society released a statement that their obsession is not Russophobia but they are against Empire, they want Ukrainian people to return their native language, identity, culture and etc.At the same time, intellectuals of Lvov declared that this is not right when we bother Kharkiv and Dnepropetrovsk with the Galician way of life, but this does not change the situation.

I would compare it with Latvia; there are 2 communities – Russian speaking and Latvian; it is the same here though conflict in terms of symbols of culture is much harsh, as Bandera is completely unacceptable for east.

Nana Devdariani: Why is all these acceptable for Europe?

Vaka Gorgiladze: The Europe put up with somethings, as the saying goes “the end justifies the means”.  This is well organized and mobilized geopolitical struggle. They do not go to Maidan and say that they will participate in forming the government.

We don’t trust either Klitschko, or Tymoshenko or Yatseniuk, as Ukraine has always been corrupted and the system was designed by Tymoshenko and Lazarenko; yet there are still many obstacles inside and we will see how it is resolved.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: there is another version; whether is it possible that if topic of redistribution is not developed enough for today, can it be developed for tomorrow?

Vaka Gorgiladze: yes it is possible. There might be an agreement between Russia and the US. We see that America is leaving Central Asia and moving to the basin of Pacific Ocean, so the main competitor is China and not Russia. By the way, the issue of South and North Korea has become more actual, they are setting commission of unification, and they have reconciled relatives; reportedly repressions that Kim Jong-Un is holding are addressed against Chinese lobby.

Japane asks for amendments in its constitution and strengthens the army, therefore if it leaves chaotic situation here, the same as Syria and Afghanistan,the latter is already a headache for Russia; Russia was proposing NATO a base in Ulianovsk as well as simplifying logistics.

So it shall not be excluded. There are revanchist statements in Romanian media that Ukraine is collapsing. Accession of Moldavia is resolved. Do you remember the statements of Lavrov and Putin that techtonic shifts and geopolitical wars are expected, thus what is happening is tricky.

We shall definitely find out some ways with Russia. It directly offers us to visit and negotiate. Nobody has called from here in Moscow even on wire entanglements, there is communication vacuum. Not talking in this situation is idiocyto put it midly. Our elite is corrupted and do not assume responsibility. Russia is offering to settle the matter now but if it is switched to hot phase and moves on the occupation, nobody will negotiate but enter directly.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: there are two options: either Russia brings in the army and tell us-here is your Abkhazia and South Ossetia but stop moving towards the West; although Georgia is completely unprepared for this version, will population refuse to Europe? In this case the population can wash away the political elite. This scenario is suitable for Russia, if it fails to maintain some leverage in Ukraine in other ways and start war.

Then it will enter here too. With this proposal it will be the bird of peace and will no longer need to spend money on Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia has financial problems, there do not seem any better prospects; Abkhazia and South Ossetia are political and financial burden with no profit. Putin smiled, said compliments to our athletes there, invited for negotiations, i.e. he is more active than we. This passivity, which is the result of idiocy and not comlex consideration, might turn out to be useful as it may lead Russia to some versions of compromise.

As for interference with signature, it will put it before us and once again tell us to stop. We have been whipped so far and now it would be more difficult to refuse. He is inviting us for negotiations and had sent a message to Burjanadze back then that any topic can be discussed.

Nata Tsereteli: so Mr. Ramaz, you deem that this warm compliment from Putin was the signal that Abkhazia and Ossetia….

Giorgi Mdivani: Is it possible that cue of Putin largely conditioned the meeting of Obama and Gharibashvili, or attendance of Obama at the meeting?

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: it is not excluded.

Irakli Ubilava:on Putin’s cue Margvelashvili said that we would negotiate and consult with west community.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: Margvelashvili’s statement does not have political wight. In my viewIvanishvili was not going to America; he did not want to offend Putin. Ukraine has helped the meeting of Obama and Gharibashvili; he is meeting with Moldova i.e. got involved in post Ukrainian process

Vaka Gorgiladze: in Ukrainewe have seen apparently active, well organized and mobilized minority and if we draw parallel which political force is capable of accomplishing such thing in 2-3 years time?

Irakli Ubilava: I was reading an article on American Sociological Research which was held in January, several days ago and as per the research 21% supported Yanukovych.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: theperson but political policy is another thing.

Vaka Gorgiladze: it is not accidental that the same day Russian media reports that Saakashvili is guilty for the murder of Zhvania; thetopic is very urgent in Western media as well; however “Asaval-Dasavali” has been writing about it for so many years and today I just smiled at all this. However this became more topical after the speech of Saakashvili. As for Olympics, it was truly triumphant and even the western media notes it.It might be recognized as the best of Winter Olympics.

Another problem is Sevastopol, where Kiev directlyappointed the Mayor. There are problems in Dnepropetrovsk as well, where there is the whole military arsenal. If the conflict is be protracted, it won’t remain local; theoretically Romania might also express territorial claims, it is extensively circulated in media and elite. As for Turkey, it will intervene regarding Crimea at the level ofstatement.

Nana Devdariani: there are talks that Ukraine refused on nuclear armament after the collapse of the Soviet Union and called upon that the guarantors of the territorial integrity of Ukraine are Britain, the USA and Russia. The Europe also stresses that the problem can not be solved without Russia. Merkel and Putin agreed that it is inadmissible to split the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Vaka Gorgiladze: it is too late, as when Russia and Yanukovych were offering Europe to let Russa be observer too, 5 months ago, Barosso declared that Russia had nothing to do with it.This will be reflected very badly; the share of Ukraine in European economy is nothing, but the scale….

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: one more issue; such denunciations are not made without reason; is it possible such plane to be real; Russia was “pressing” EU to unite the European and Euroasian Union; it goes with Russia. When Yanukovych said that Russia was disturbing him, he demanded EU and Russia to talk,apparently creating the field to Putin for conducting this policy. The Europe still refuses; will the same issue be raised this time?

Vaka Gorgiladze: then this will be geopolitical failure of America. What Bzezhinski was saying was that reintegration of Ukraine within Russian space would cause unification of European and Euroasian space and this is the greatest threat that America faces; and minimal threat would be close partnership between Russia and Germany.

If you don’t accept this type of agreement, the space won’t have competitor considering that the Europe with its united economic or human resources exceeds American and yet next year there are referendums of Scotland, Catalonia and Basque.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: Europeans feel that they can not cope with Russia without America, so American factor is remarkable.

Zaza Firalashvili: there is one thing, not only shallwe learn from the events in Ukraine. I think, Ukrainians also have to consider some things from our recent past, as they are in nationalism-revolutionary phase, in which we were and it brought nothing good to us.

They also might have to go through the same history, as they are facing problem of elaborating moderate, golden mean and political filigree technic. It is doubtful that they have such leader, thus I expect further escalation of the situation. It is not just the problem of Ukraine and geopolitical space; I think we are entering the state of Cold War.

America still has a lot of tools to work on Russia, so these processes won’t end in 2-3 months or even 2 years time; we are entering another phase. The issues, which were forgotten are put forward, the same predictions about the collapse of Russia. As for the situation we are in, unfortunately I have to say that we don’t have such leader eitherin opposition or in government, who could maintain golden mean and let God send him to us.

Unfortunately, government in our country isstill determined by Saakashvili; he is the balance factor as well as the one setting agenda to such an extent that they have almost assigned the initiatives of attitude towards the development of Ukraine to national movement. In this regard, the speech of President in Parliament was carrying some significance and it became clear that there is a certain position in the government and their approach to the noted issue is not determined just by taking, let’s say, apple to the Russian market.

As for the messages of Putin, you shall talk to him without any hope. Russia is the post-Byzantine world, why was Byzantium destroyed? For the same reasons why Russia may collapse.

Irakli Ubilava: I will also touch the problem of Ukraine and consider it in geopolitical context, as I deem that this is the main problem, even though there might have been internal problems as well. Let us recall “the Grand Chessboard” of Bzezinski, which directly prescribes that if we take Ukraine from Russia, it will become only Asian Empire and might be collapsed due to war against Muslim World. Broadcasting companies and experts in ourcountry are stating that everything is Russia’s fault.

What Russians do in Ukraine and in any other country is pure counter strategy. The same situation was in our country in the ‘90s: toppling down the statues of Lenin, civil wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The same is taking place in Crimea today. I think that collapse of Ukraine will be very bad for us too, as its current boundaries and are legally recognized are the ones existed within the Soviet Union.

When the latter was collapsed, we were legallyrecognized within these borders. Suppose that Ukraine is split in two parts, which is likely to happen, if it is also legally finalized then will we eventually lose Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: there will be a serious precedent. Taking eastern Ukraine will be very beneficial for Russian economy; it does not need to take Abkhazia and South Ossetia, apart from the fact that it has weapon there and will leave them to the bases there, in other ways it is just burden. Will Russian economy withstand so many burdens? Consequently, it is not unilateral that the Ukraine will be split.

Irakli Ubilava: in Anglo-Saxon geopolitics control of sea is considered to be the most profitable. Therefore, I think that the main target of America in terms of geopolitics is Crimea, in order to shut the pass of Russia to Black and Mediterranean Sea. The reaction of Russia will be similar in terms of promoting separatism in Crimea.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: if Russia promotes separatism, then it shall support it financially as well and how can it manage?

Irakli Ubilava: continental Empire is a bit different from Anglo-Saxon Empire, for them military strategy is primary and economic factor has always been secondary.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze: we say that what was happening in past will always happen. We were not expecting that Putin would built the Empire on economy and one more thing, Ukraine is not Putin’s ambition, however its loss will be bad for Russia.  Putin is targeting its economic empire to the Europe andthe case is about seizing it.

Irakli Ubilava: the last speech of Putin was clear ideological construction against nationalism-postmodernism.He tried to create some kind of alternative, with the words of Berdiaev, formulate what the conservatism is and etc. it made serious impact on certain circles of intelectuals in the US. It has serious affects onright-wing thinkers of France and Italy. Therefore, there are some ideological moments as well.

Nana Devdariani: there are circles of society in Europe who explicitly does not approve and won’t approve Putin but he is quite popular with some political class. Today, ideological moment is ahead than military strategy, including those that are considered unacceptable to Western values. This is already the counter-thesis; this is an alternative. If you pay attention and talk only through geopolitical categories, in terms of strategy, nothing will come, as it is already determinant?

Zaza Firalishvili: Russia has left a few ways to maintain the unity of the body; permanent territorial expansion or some kind of an idea around which the body will be tied. Economics do not have blood vessels. Abkhazia and South Ossetia has a symbolic meaning for it, energetic and not so much of territorial. This symbolic expansion has rouse the empire, brought energy. When did the communist revolution take place in Russia? When Russia was the fastest developing country in Europe, economic factor did not lead to regrouping the interests in other direction.

ირაკლი უბილავა: უნიპოლარულობისკენ სწრაფვა აქვთ ანგლოსაქსებს და ამერიკელებს ამ შემთხვევაში. იქაც ორად იყოფა აზრი, იზოლაციონიზმი და მხოლოდ საკუთარი ინტერსებიდან ბრძოლა. თუ ამერიკელებმა მონროს დოქტრინაზე დაიწყეს მუშაობა, იმის გათვალისწინებით, თუ  რამდენი ჯარისკაცი იღუპება ერაყსა და ავღანეთში, ადგილობრივმა ამომრჩევლებმა, შესაძლოა, მოუწოდოს ხელისუფლებას იზოლაციონალიზმისკენ.  თუ უკრაინის მეზობლად ევროპაა, ჩვენს შემთხვევაში  უკან თურქეთი დგას. აქ როგორ წავა შემდეგ უკვე ურთიერთობა? მათ სტამბოლში უნდათ დედაქალაქის გადატანა, იქ ხვდება ელჩებს პრემიერი. ამ მიმართულებით, მგონი, სამუშაო გვაქვს საქართველოში, რა პრობლემის წინაშე შეიძლება დავდგეთ  10-15 წლის შემდეგ.

Irakli Ubilava: in this case Americans and Anglo-Saxons have aspiration towards unipolarity. Opinionsare split into 2; isolationism and fight only for their own interests. If Americans begin to work on the Monroe Doctrine, considering how many soldiers die in Iraq and Afghanistan,local voters may urge the authority for isolationism.  If Europe is the neighbor of Ukraine, in our case Turkey stands behind us. How the relationships go afterwards in such case? They want to move the capital in Istanbul, the Premier meets with the ambassadors there. I think we also have a work in this respect: what problem might we face after 10-15 years.

Soso Archvadze: when we talk about lessons, it means not only to receive information but what we confront and what shall we do to minimize any negative result of exogenous effect. Consider 2 ways: first, Ukraine remains whole and the second- it falls apart. Before talking about collapse, there are 2 options in case of unity as well: ambitions of Russia are satisfied or completely ignored; if satisfied then it gains more energy, if not – the risk is increased.

If the ambitions are not met than it can be used against Georgia as the weak point. Therefore the risks in both cases are high. Obligation of our government is to talk about it; this refers to the maintenance and development of the nation’s identity, its survival. Population shall not be morally degraded along with taking care of the statehood.

As for the collapse of Ukraine, after Russia announced embargo in 2006, the Ukraine became the second-place partner for Georgia and the annual turnover amounts to $ 800-900 million. More than half of import is agricultural products and the other half military-industrial, as reported. Imagine the threat that Georgia faces from the military aspect, in case ofsplitting theUkraine.

The market will lose the same food product which accounts for 55% and trigger the inflation. Large part of export from Georgia also comes on Ukraine. If the situation messes up where will we export our products? The volume of export from Georgia is more than total amount of 28 EU countries, thus the market of Ukraine is very important for us and its loss therefore will be very unprofitable.

Not to mention the fact that Ukraine’s break-up will set a very bad precedent, Russia will unbind the hands and foot in other directions as well and international law will turn into empty piece of paper.

If there are any deterrent factors of behavior everybody acts the way they want. Laws of Jungles will come to the front line; the argument of power and not the power of argument.The government is obliged to completely eliminate the increased risks or at least ensure its minimisation.

Giorgi Mdivani: I shall touch upon the economic aspect. We depend on Post-Soviet market in terms of export and the Ukraine dramatically relies on Russian market, which accounts for 80%. I had a meeting with the supporters of Maidan and asked them if they paid attention to economic issues, because if a country is economically strong it seizes the political power.

They told me that they don’t care about anything except for the freedom of Ukraine. In my view, it is the reckless attitude from their part. I think that both Georgia and Ukraine need protectionism. Any developed country, which has good indices and is in favor of diverse alliances, use them. This alliance is established with the purpose of limiting development potential of other countries.

Let’s take “Toyota” for example: in the beginning of 20th century “Toyota” was going bankrupt over 30 years, with such horrific pace that even the State did not have a chance of subsidizing and the last wave was when Japan still granted the subsidy; after that Japan passed a law according to which the tariff was higher on foreign cars in order to support locals.

We actually need protectionism. We have very poor trade balance with EU countries, when export accounts for 20% and import-60% this signals economic occupation of the country, therefore local business will turn out in unequal terms. We will be in the same situation as Romania and Bulgaria, stretching our handsbegging.

In addition, Switzerland has held the referendum as per which, work places for EU citizens are restricted. Bulgarians were not allowed to grant work visas in Britain for 7 years, after it became the EU member country; however EU does not state such thing.

The fact that standards will be introduced after the Association in EU and vague membership is clear, but who prevents sovereign state from introducing the same production standards or etc. This service exists even today, formally though and does not perform its job.

It is not necessary to become EU member in order the government to assign specific institute to do its job properly and therefore, abide by the standards of food industry. Similar control mechanisms were set even during the Soviet-Union. Today many ofthe meat product companies won’t pass this control.

This can be done without integration processes. My viewpoint is that both Georgia and Ukraine necessitate protectionism. As for the Eurasian Union, the survey shall be held on the expectations in case of European integration,mathematical prediction and the theory of probability shall be engaged. Nobody has done such thing neither in Ukraine or here. Take the example of Belarus, its rate of economic growth is so high that 50% of European countries would envy.

Comments are closed

Log in / Global Research Center |