Georgian and Russian Political Experts View Russian Peacekeepers Presence in Abkhazia
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend A.Gasimova, N.Kirtzkhalia / Russia will probably withdraw its peacekeepers from Georgia, if the West demands. " Russia will recall its peacekeepers from the territory of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict only in the case that the United States or Europe demands it from the Kremlin," Vladimir Pribilovskiy, the head of the Analytical Information center Panorama said.
The Georgian President Mikhael Saakashvili stated on 30 October his intention to complain to the UN Security Council about the Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia. The Georgian leader grounded this intention because of the incident that took place on 30 October, when Russian peacekeepers detained five Georgian citizens, members of the Youth Patriotic Camp, insulted security and employees of the Georgian Interior Ministry on duty and detained several people. According to Russia's version, five employees of the Georgian Interior Ministry were detained and disarmed because of armed threats to the Russian peacekeepers.
Pribilovskiy said in a telephone conversation from Moscow on 31 October that the Russian peacekeepers will remain in Georgia, because no one in the West desires to quarrel with Putin [Russian President] because of the high price of energy resources.
Touching upon the incident he said that current relations between Georgia and Russia are in a state when their deterioration favors both countries. "The Kremlin needs to shape a feeling in Russia that all countries including the United States and even the small countries like Georgia and Estonia, infringe Russia, and calls on the nation to consolidate around the President who is only protecting Russia from offense," the political expert said. With respect to Georgia, Saakashvili said that it is necessary to 'shut up' the opposition and he speculates with the statement that Russia supports Abkhazia and Osetia.
According to David Darchilashvili, the Georgian political expert and the head of the Open Society Foundation - Georgia, the incident between the Georgian police and Russian peacekeepers, once more demonstrated Russia cannot act as a mediator. "It is possible to achieve anything from this incident, but they will give propagandistic dividends only," Darchilashvili told Trend.
The Georgian political expert said that the roots of such relations between Georgia and Russia are deeper than resistance between private armed people. "The resistance between Georgians and Russians, I mean the supreme authority and political elite, which is stronger than that between Georgia and Abkhazes and Russia cannot be a mediator in the resolution of the conflict," the political expert stressed.
He attributed the Georgian President's visit to the scene of the incident as an unordinary step. " Georgia as a state takes its first steps and there is a need for such unordinary decisions and the President's visit was directed at drawing attention to the format of the peacemaking process," Drachiashvili said. Saakashvili tries to attract the attention of the world community. "This step by President Saakashvili was a message to the international community that the situation cannot progress in this way," the political expert stressed.
On 30 October the Georgian Foreign Ministry sent a protest note to the CIS Executive Committee, as well as the Russian Ambassador to Georgia. In this note the Georgian authorities demanded that the CIS and Russia clarify the situation with the illegal actions of the Russian military and the urgent recall of the commander of the peacekeeping forces, Sergey Chaban, from Georgia.