Aggravation of Georgia-Russian Relations is Detriment of Moscow’s Interests: Experts

Georgia, Tbilisi, 30 April /corr. Trend N.Kirskhalia, R.Agayev / Worsening of the Georgian-Russian relations with regards to the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not beneficial firstly for Moscow because it may isolate Moscow and make it conflict participant.

"The tension in the relations with Georgia will lead to the fact that Russia will isolate itself, and it will become not mediator, but the violator of the democratic norms and participant of the conflict," said the Chairman of Parliamentary Commission on Restoration of Georgia's Territorial Integrity, Shota Malashkhia.

The Defence Ministry of Russia highlighted the necessity of increasing the number of the CIS Collective Peacekeepers' Forces within the quantity specified by the decision of the CIS State Heads dated 22 August 1994. The Ministry stated that it is dictated due to the 'development of events in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone'. The Government of Georgia called it unacceptable to increase the number of the Russian peaceful contingent in Abkhazia and stated that it contradicts international law.

"Unlike Russia, the worsening of the situation is 'useful' for Georgia," Malashkhia reported to Trend on 30 April. According to Malashkhia, most of the negative factors connected with the worsening of the Georgian-Russian relations resulted from the aggressive moves of Moscow and increase of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone without notifying Tbilisi.

"With such moves, Moscow not only isolates itself from the international community, but also creates problems for itself in its own territory," the Chairman said. According to Malashkhia, Tbilisi possesses not only close support of the international community, but also support 'at the level of real assistance'. The results of this help will be restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity in the near future and it is the positive result of the current contradiction, he said.

Worsening of the relations between Georgia and Russia is not useful firstly for Russia, said the outstanding Russian expert Sergey Markedenov.

"From the standpoint of Russian interests, Russia will be isolated not only from Europe and the States and CIS. No Azerbaijan, Ukraine, even Kazakhstan and Belarus support the aggressive moves by Russia against Georgia. Therefore, I think that the Russian authorities will not resort to aggressive moves as it is to the detriment of our interests," Markedenov, the head of the International Relations Department of Political and Military Analysis Institute of Russia said to Trend on 30 April.

Georgia understands very well that the full-scale aggravation will be catastrophe for it. The West, especially U.S. does not want its rear to be fired and Caucasus is the rear of the Near East. "It looks like as if no one is interested in full-scale operations, and it is possible that the conflicts will further become 'de-frosted'" said the Russian political expert.

According to Markedenov, the most important for the Russian diplomacy in relations with Georgia is to be extremely correct and careful about formulas. "The key goal for Moscow in current situation to not to serve to others' interests," he said. According to expert, in 2004-2007, the key goal of Russia's Georgia-related policy was to introduce a conflict as Russian-Georgia, but not as Georgia-Ossetia and Georgia-Abkhazia conflicts. "Now it is the second stage of this plan, and it is introducing conflicts as confrontation between West and Russia where Georgia tries to position itself as a part of the West. All possible methods are employed for this purpose," he said.

" Russia should refrain from deploying additional peace-keeping forces in the Georgia-Abkhaz conflict zone as it can cause political and military tension in the region," Matthew Bryza, the assistant to deputy Secretary of State of the U.S. said on 30 April.

"It is possible that the initiative of Russia is legal, but I am sure that it will cause political and military tension. Russia should not take such a step," he said to Rustavi-2 TV.

The important is that Georgia should keep silent and to remain strong and democratic government. He also said that the use of force in the conflict zone is unacceptable.

" Russia is not going to wage a war with Georgia. We can cite numerous facts which speak of the fact that the Georgian government can have plans to solve Abkhazia and South Ossetia problems by means of force. The Georgian government purchases offensive armament secretly or obviously," Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia said on 30 April.

The Russian foreign minister stressed that Georgia is violating agreement regarding Kodor Ravine where there must not be Georgian forces in line with UN SC resolution.

" Russia preferred confrontational way of relations with Georgia, but our way is not confrontational one, however Georgia will protect its rights once its sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law is violated," Nino Burjanadze, the chairman of the Georgian parliament said.

"The actions of Russia are not logical and it just blackmails Georgian authorities and tries to legalize the annexation that it has been carrying out toward Abkhazia and South Ossetia for the last10 years," she said.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia, former parts of Georgia SSR, declared their independence after demise of USSR. Unsuccessful talks are being held following the armed conflict that deprived Tbilisi of the control over these territories. They have been striving for recognition of their independence while Georgia considers them to be its constituent part and offers them a large autonomy.

The Russia-Georgia relations deteriorated due the intentions of Tbilisi to enter NATO which Kremlin considers to be direct threat to Russia.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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