Putin gave a symbolic birthday present to Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze
The meeting between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus took place in the Mariinsky Palace in Ukraine’s capital Kiev. The meeting took place within the scope of the informal summit of CIS leaders. Vladimir Putin brought a little surprise, when he was opening the meeting. Putin likes to speak in symbols sometimes, in an allegorical way.
Putin took three copies of the well-known Russian book called “The Tale of Igor’s Regiment” and showed them to the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus. Those books were designed beautifully. They were published in four different languages – ancient Russian, modern Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian. Putin said that the book was a good symbol of the Slavic unity, since the book is about the significance of the unity, which is the essence of the Slavic people’s power and strength. Putin added that one should not forget the common cultural roots of the Slavic nations.
Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko and Ukrainian leader Leonid Kuchma signed each book of the ancient Russian heroic tale. Putin gave two of those book to Lukashenko and Kuchma and kept one for himself.
Vladimir Putin also had a meeting with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. It goes without saying that the atmosphere of the meeting with the Georgian president was a bit different in comparison with the one that Putin had with Lukashenko and Kuchma. Putin and Shevardnadze discussed a lot of issues, including the controversial question pertaining to the train, which travels on the route Sukhumi-Sochy across the territory of Georgia. Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia - the republic, which tries to separate from Georgia and to become an independent territory. Sochy is a Russian resort city, so Georgia does not like the train, which travels from Abkhazia to Russia across its territory.
Nasha-Rodina.Ru website wrote that the Russian president repeated Boris Yeltsin’s deed, who tried to lay on a railway track, if reforms were going to fail. It is curious, for Vladimir Putin made up his mind to have a meeting with Eduard Shevardnadze after the latter cheated Putin at the last summit in Chisinau, having broken his promise to deliver guerrillas. Probably, Vladimir Putin jeers at Shevardnadze. Putin gave him a birthday present – a painting, which depicts a table with a piece of bread and a cup of water on it. A piece of bread and a cup of water is usually the food, which is given to prisoners. In other words, a prison is the place for those people, who spent too much time destroying the country, taking senior official positions in the Central Committee of the Communist Party or in the Foreign Ministry of the Soviet Union (it goes about Eduard Shevardnadze here).
However, it is only a supposition, although we know that Putin likes symbolism sometimes. For example, the Russian president has recently given a present to Vasily Kononov, a jailed war veteran in Latvia, for his 80th birthday. The present was a watch called the “President.”
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov