One should not be so surprised seeing the US Department of State and “political emigrant” working together: things happen in big politics.
“Political” emigrant Boris Berezovsky has just reminded about himself. The last night he’s spent a night in Georgia. The blitz-visit of this “fighter against dictatorship” raised a lot of comments: the hero has a reputation of a master of political intrigue, and it is unlikely that the visit to Georgia, which is under great attention of Russia, US and Europe now, was a mere “friends meeting” with Badri Patarkatsishvili (it was his aircraft that Berezovsky used, by the way).
There are other interesting details of this visit. In Tbilisi airport Boris Berezovsky went through security check under documents of Platon Elenin, with a Georgian visa issued in London. “Platon Elenin is not on the wanted list in Georgia, so we had no right to capture or check him”, commented in Georgian custom service.
However, this is very strange. Let us for a moment forget that both Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili are wanted internationally, and think why custom officers did not point attention to the fact that the man whose face is familiar in the country even to a newborn passes the border with some Elenin’s passport?
Let the Georgian government deal with their custom officer themselves. Most probably they knew about the visit anyway. So Berezovsky was assured of security. In the end, his friend Patarkatsishvili is not the last man in Georgia…
Aims of the visit are not known for sure. There are many versions. One is that Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili had a business meeting, discussing perspectives of the “Russian Aluminum”, where they hold 15% of shares. Another, an exotic one, is that they discussed opportunities for Berezovsky’s participation in Georgia’s political life. There is a rumor that this summer there were serious possibilities for him to become a Georgian Foreign Relationships Minister.
There is yet another version, directly connected with Russia.
Before Eduard Shevardnadze’s resigning, proponents of his aide, Aslan Abashidze (the head of Adzharia) called for arrest of Badri Patarkatsishvili, who “came from Russia with bags full of money and turned Tbilisi into circus”. The current government is in difficult relationships with Abashidze, who did not recognizes a “rosy revolution”, calling it a “revolution”. He also frequents Moscow, and can be suspected in pro-Russian feelings. And he remains one of the most influential politicians in Georgia, on whose actions will future events depend.
It is clear that neither Patarkatsishvili nor Berezovsky are interested in normalizing relationships between Russia and Georgia. At least out of personal motives: both of them are in internationally wanted on Russia’s initiative. There is a clear political interest too. Events in Georgia more than interest Russia: at least because of the Chechen border. So constant tension between the two countries is helpful to Berezovsky’s intensions to influence Russian political situation. It is surprising why he hasn’t visited Georgia before! Must have waited for visa in London…
Accidentally or not, just for a few hours Berezovsky has missed a large American delegation in Tbilisi airport, consisting of members of Department of the State, Defense, Finance and Justice Ministries. They came to discuss possibility of American help with presidential and parliamentary elections. Officials also confirmed that a long-term strategy of financial and technical support of the States should be developed at the meetings.
And yesterday Collin Powell sounded quite roughly when “advised” Russia to take their military bases out of Georgia and do not intrude in the republic’s domestic matters. “Intrusion” meant is mostly support of separatists of South Osethia, Abkhazia and Adzharia.
It is to be added that western media re-started campaign against “Moscow’s imperialistic ambitions”. Some American and European commentators think that Russia’s the main responsible for Georgian poor state of things.
Knowing this all, Platon Elenin’s visit does not look so extravagant. One should not be so surprised seeing the US Department of State and “political emigrant” working together: things happen in big politics…