I would like to explain to those who still do not realize the seriousness of the last week’s incident (the kidnapping of Russian peacekeepers in Georgia): Russia has become involved in the Abkhazian conflict, the result of which is quite easy to predict. The Kremlin must have been trying to avoid such participation in the conflict, but there is no back way now. It was not Russia that initiated such participation in the conflict, as Russia has been forced to demonstrate its political will and voice its position concerning the Abkhazian conflict. Russia has been ignoring events occurring by its side for a long period already, and it allowed only made several harsh statements when another large-scale scandal occurred. However, no notice was taken of such statements.
Eduard Shevardnadze, ex-member of the Soviet Political Bureau, was one of the first people who understood the situation. After another provocation in Russian-Georgian relations also connected with the presence of Chechen guerrillas on Georgia’s territory, he assured the Russian leadership that the such accusations were absurd. It looked rather strange, but Russia did not respond. Indeed, most people agree that a system of counterbalance and compromise is practiced in large-scale politics, and no hasty conclusions can be made. Can you explain why Russia was the last to know about Georgia expecting US troops?
Eduard Shevardnadze has been always following the principle “there can be no permanent friends and enemies in politics, as there are permanent interests only.” He has been cheating in his relations with Russia, and has still managed to obtain Russia’s gas and electricity at lower prices. This was the way for Russia to pay for Shevardnadze’s loyalty. Now, the situation has changed. Eduard Shevardnadze says that Georgia is ready to enter NATO, and all apprehensions of Russia regarding any threat from Georgia’s side are said to be groundless. Eduard Shevardnadze says: “How can a country with a five million population be dangerous for Russia?” Indeed, this seems to be true, but the Caucasus are really hot spot for both sides: for those who wish to keep peace and those who want to wage a great war there as well. History has already experienced this. People who follow the Divide et impera principle will certainly try to pursue their interests in the Caucasus.
It is nice to see that Russia has awakened from its lethargy and voiced its claims to the region. Russia has even mentioned the interests of the 30,000 Russians living in Abkhazia, which need to be protected in all possible ways.
The State Duma, which is still active after the recent debates connected with the arrival of the US troops to Georgia, has said that Russia's leadership is going to take adequate measures. Chairman of the Duma’s committee for international affairs Dmitry Rogozin says that, if the situation turns for the worse, measures are to be applied to Georgia that will be not only of an economic character.
It is very important, and also possible as well, to talk to Georgia in a different way. Much information has been already compiled to confirm Georgia’s criminal intentions.
Alexander Zdanovich, the head of the department for assistance to Russia’s Federal Security Bureau, said in a televised interview on Friday: “According to data received, Arab mercenaries located in Chechnya receive weapons from Georgia.” An ammunition depot discovered in Chechnya was demonstrated as an evidence to the statement.
As for Eduard Shevardnadze personally, it is hard to explain his inclination to various criminals who are wanted for arrest in Russia. The connection of the Georgian president with Badri Patarkatsishvili, for whom an arrest warrant had been issued in Russia, was announced on Friday. There is the following saying: “tell me who your friend is, and I will tell who you are.” Does this not explain Eduard Shevardnadze’s secret passions?
In addition, I would like to believe that the statements of Russian politicians will not be in vain. It is also very important for Russia to remember and protect the interests of Russians in Abkhazia, and not only in critical moments when it wants to confirm its claims.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/03/25/38730.html