Russia’s interests in Georgia: friendship is the best weapon
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and his American masters are pushing Russia towards a conflict. Saakashvili wants a war. And for this reason alone – because he wants it – we should do all we can to avoid it. Anything the Americans and their puppets want is something we don’t need.
Georgian-Russian relations have deteriorated to the point that there is serious talk of war. Current events are hardly surprising. The Americans brought Mikhail Saakashvili to power precisely in order to tear Georgia away from Russia and incite a conflict between us, so everything is going according to plan. And two fraternal Orthodox peoples are being hurt by it.
The West sees Georgia as a small but proud country fighting for independence from a former empire’s metropolis. Consequently, Saakashvili gets a lot of support in the West. In contrast, we aren’t explaining our position very coherently or efficiently. Our position is this: the Russians don’t want a war with anyone, and will not go to war.
By launching his persecution of Russian military personnel, Saakashvili is clearly attempting to provoke Russia. Since Russian troops are stationed in Georgia, that means we regard this territory as part of our influence zone. Monitoring the strategic situation there is the direct duty of our military, especially our intelligence services. There’s no such thing as a “spy” in a country where we have military bases. On the other hand, those bases are a consequence of the geopolitical configuration that existed when Georgia was a friendly nation and part of a common security system. But now Saakashvili is seeking to change the whole structure of Russian-Georgian relations, turning our peoples into enemies. This is the purpose of declaring Russian soldiers and officers on Georgian territory to be “occupation forces” and “spies.”
But have we really done all we can to prevent such developments? Yes, we do support the Georgian opposition, as represented by Igor Giorgadze – but is it really all that strong? And is this enough? Russia has other friends in Georgia, besides Giorgadze’s supporters. More and more Georgian nationalists are coming to understand that their country can only have a future in alliance with Russia; under NATO’s wing, Georgia will lose its identity and territorial integrity. The conservative wing of Georgian society is gradually turning away from Saakashvili – and, while not being openly pro-Russian, it is drifting towards anti-Americanism. Influential left-wing Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili is criticizing the United States more and more frequently. Even some of Saakashvili’s supporters have moved away from him lately.
“Together with Europe, but not together with America and not together with Soros.” This slogan is more relevant than ever in Georgia these days. It’s not quite right yet, but it’s already a great improvement. This trend should be supported. Alas, Russia still hasn’t done any work with this broad front of Georgian politicians and public figures. The situation is nearing the point of direct confrontation, but we have yet to play the Eurasia card in Georgia.
Saakashvili and his American masters are pushing Russia towards a conflict. A series of recent demarches by the Georgian president serves that purpose: renaming the Kodori Gorge, relocating the Abkhazian government-in-exile there, increasingly frequent attacks on South Ossetia, and now the persecution of Russian officers. That means Saakashvili wants a war. And for this reason alone – because he wants it – we should do all we can to avoid it. Anything the Americans and their puppets want is something we don’t need.
All the same, Russia has by no means run out of options in relations with Georgia. It would be premature and damaging to rush into any high-risk moves, succumbing to Saakashvili’s provocations. Time is not on Saakashvili’s side. But Russia also needs to use this time, actively rather than passively, to promote our interests. At present – and almost always – our interests coincide with the true interests of the Georgian people, our Orthodox brothers. Friendship is our best weapon. We just need to be able to use it effectively and in good time.