Europeans were especially interested in getting to know the new Georgian President because the EU countries maintained good relations with his predecessor.
New president of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili is on his first official visit abroad as the head of state. He made his first trip to the International Economic Forum in Davos. This year Forum paid special attention to Georgia, not for the sake of economics, but for political reasons. President Saakashvili was directly involved in overthrowing the regime of Shevarnadze. Europeans were especially interested in getting to know new Georgian President because the EU countries maintained good relations with his predecessor. The EU attitude to Georgia was mainly formed by Germany being thankful to Shevarnadze for his role in uniting Germany in 1990.
Europe’s reaction to the change of authorities in Georgia was calm, maybe because Europeans were not involved in the November 2003 events resulting in overthrowing Shevarnadze, contrary to the US active participation. Most European countries observed the change of the regime in Tbilisi impartially, Berlin – a little suspiciously.
According to the Die Presse newspaper, in Davos, President Saakashvili expressed gratitude to the USA for providing assistance, and called Europeans to maintain closer ties with Georgia. President Saakashvila called the EU reaction to the Georgian events “slowed-down”. Simultaneously the Georgian President could not help criticizing Russia. He said that “Russia creates new problems for Georgia”.
However, in his recent interview to RIA-Novosti information agency also given in Davos, President Saakashvili said about his visit in Moscow scheduled for February: “We are eager to establish regular economic contacts with Russia and transfer our relations in more rational direction. Georgia is an independent country which wants to have Russia as a friend. I need Russia as a friend”. And then he said on the issue of economic cooperation (power lines from Russia to Georgia), “We would like power to be supplied regularly, with no interruption and no politically motivated decisions on stopping its delivery”. Speaking of the future negotiations in Moscow, the Georgian President said that he counts on a serious conversation and “this visit to Moscow will start new relationships for us”.
However, it is hard to understand what kind of the “new relationships” the Georgian President mean if “Russia creates new problems for Georgia”. Does he understand the “new relationships” as open and honest dialog on the problems of the relations between the two countries? What kind of openness is it if the Georgian President says one things to US and European reporters and politicians and absolutely different things to Russians? This is not the basis for building new relationships.
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