Expert: Without Türkiye, today's fate of Georgia would be unknown
    Caliber.Az from Tbilisi

    INTERVIEWS  18 July 2022 - 16:51

    Tamilla Mammadova

    Caliber.Az presents an interview with Candidate of Historical Sciences, member of the Georgian Parliament (1992-1995) David Paitchadze.

    - The EU has decided to grant candidate status to Moldova and Ukraine, and Georgia has been told it needs to address certain issues. Why do you think the EU did this?

    - Because of the fear of Russia. This refusal is motivated by the consideration not to annoy Russia and the fear of expanding military operations in the Caucasus. Macron pursues a policy of not irritating Russia, while he motivated his refusal with geographical considerations saying that Tbilisi is located in another region. We know that the Caucasus is geographically part of Europe. He just lied.

    - And what do they think about this in the US?

    - The Americans lobbied Georgia to obtain candidate status, however, like in 2008, when considering Georgia's admission to NATO, France and Germany opposed it. And if Merkel undertook the mission to refuse Georgia in 2008, this time Macron had to do it.

    - Do you think the EU's decision is political?

    - The processes we are talking about are exclusively political. Any decision of any parliament, government, or commonwealth is a political process and, of course, a political decision. I personally have not heard or read that the EU requires Georgia to open a second front if that's what you mean. This is the narrative of the Russian special services, of which the current government of Georgia is a branch.

    - In December, the European Union should make a decision on the status of Georgia. What are your expectations? Will it be negative again, as in June, or still positive?

    - We live in a time when events are developing rapidly, so anything can happen. I do not even rule out that Georgia will be able to become a member of the EU in December this year. And the Azerbaijani government can play a decisive role in this. Recent events around Kazakhstan, in particular Putin's ban on the transportation of Kazakh oil through Novorossiysk, forced Kazakhs to do it via Baku.

    In addition, Europe is also ceasing to receive gas and oil from Russia. So one of the main alternative ways to supply Europe with oil and gas is through the South Caucasus. I think that any serious European politician would be interested in having a direct border with Azerbaijan because in this way the EU will provide itself with an alternative energy supply. And if Azerbaijan passes a sufficient amount of Kazakh gas through Baku, it will be a weighty argument for the EU to accept Georgia.

    - What level do you think Georgian-Azerbaijani and Georgian-Turkish relations are at now?

    - We have always focused on friendly and fraternal relations with Baku. As for Türkiye, we have developed very good relations with it after the collapse of the USSR. I remember that in 1992, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel came to Georgia. Türkiye is the only way that connects us with the rest of the world economically and politically. The Turks took an active part in the formation of the Georgian army. The personal relationship between Shevardnadze and Demirel played an important role. If there were no Türkiye, I don't know what would happen to Georgia now. Türkiye supported us in everything.

    - And how do you assess Georgia's efforts to join NATO?

    - In the current circumstances, any efforts on our part are not crucial. Our accession to NATO depends on the alliance itself. If it is interested in Georgia's membership, we will get it.

    - Georgia is very eager to join the EU. What will it give to the country's economy?

    - At a minimum, this will give Georgia normal modern legislation and lifestyle, and a social security system, which is now at zero. It will give Georgia an opportunity to become a normal civilized state.

    - If Saakashvili was in power, would Georgia get the status of an EU candidate?

    - I would not personify this question. Saakashvili had been in power for a long time, and this was not discussed, especially since there were problems with the observance of human rights.

    - How do you assess the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on Georgia?

    - As the Prussian general said, the war is the continuation of politics, only by other methods. That is, during a war, all political relations develop at a faster pace. I believe that this war is a continuation of the collapse of the Soviet Union or its final stage. In the 1990s, the Soviet Union collapsed too painlessly. Yes, there were conflicts, but they were not on such a large scale. The current war will accelerate the process of the final collapse of the USSR. As a person born during the Soviet era, I would like to live to see the end of this empire.

    - Are you saying that this war could be the end of Russia?

    - In a certain sense, I foresee a similar prospect. I hope that the world will not give up on Ukraine and that Russia is incapable of fighting against the whole world. During the Crimean War, which Russian historians call "World War Zero," it also fought against the world. That war ended in Russia's defeat, and as a consequence, serfdom was abolished in the country. That is, usually, Russia's defeat in the wars has always been followed by positive trends. I hope that the defeat of Putin's Russia in this war will contribute to the return of a normal civilized Russia. It will be salvation not only for the Ukrainian people, but also for the Russian people, the Georgian and Azerbaijani peoples, and all the countries living around this system created by the Soviet KGB and Putin personally. So we are all in the same boat with Ukraine. And the victory of Ukraine will primarily mean the liberation of the Russian people.

    - And how long will this war last?

    - It almost depends on the West. If the West decides to support Ukraine more effectively, it will end soon. At the same time, it is important to act in such a way as not to provoke Putin into using weapons of mass destruction. This requires a filigree technique. In short, the main thing is to eradicate the Russian KGB regime.

    - Is there a threat to Georgia from Russia?

    - Russia has plenty of leverage over Georgia. At the moment it does not need it because the Georgian government is a branch of the KGB. One of the levers is holding a referendum in South Ossetia on joining Russia. Again, a lot will depend on the economic situation, because the route to supply Europe with energy resources will go through Georgia, and Russia will try to cut it off. Therefore, the only way to prevent it is to accept Georgia into the EU. That way the EU will get a direct border with Baku, but it will mean that European troops will have to guard this pipeline on the territory of Georgia.

    - What global events may take place in our region in the near future?

    - The Kremlin's goal is to restore the USSR, and it sees our countries as autonomous regions of Russia. And so far, I do not see any symptoms of abandonment of this goal. You have Türkiye, which is an ally, but even its support will not save you from a bloody war if Moscow decides to intervene in our region. I don't want to predict anything, but such a danger exists.


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