Crisis of Relations with Georgia - View from Tbilisi

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

European Pravda has frequently reported on Ukrainian-Georgian relations, including critical assessments of the current Georgian government.

The interview with Andrii Kasianov, Ukraine's temporary charge d'affaires in Georgia, caused a lot of havoc.

Ukrainian-Georgian official relations are going through clearly not the best times. However, interpersonal relations remain a real example for official Kyiv and Tbilisi.

Relationship problems are reflected in some issues where common interests and proper interaction are more important than ever.

"I believe that the main reason [for problems in the relations between the countries] is the lack of strong and long-lasting traditions of modern statehood. I will point out once again for clarity - statehood in the modern world and current realities," notes Viktor Kipiani, the chairman of the Geocase analytical center.

This, in turn, is reflected in the deficit of interstate civil relations. Speaking of "civility," it is important to note that relations between Ukraine and Georgia, unfortunately, have focused on personal and interpersonal factors.

"Today, which is no longer a secret, our appreciated colleagues from Kyiv comment on the processes in Georgia. It has become more frequent.

These comments, we must admit, have long gone off the charts in terms of frequency and severity. I, of course, would avoid using "interference in internal affairs." Still, the comments mentioned above, in some cases, are not only not serious - they openly harm our partnership and interstate relations", the expert adds.

He believes this approach needs to be reconsidered the sooner, the better.

In his opinion, to rethink the relations, the parties should only speak to each other in the language of ultimatums if they demand abstract and groundless concessions to achieve real progress.

He calls for maximum delicacy and refrains from unfounded and unproven accusations.

"And more: no matter how close Ukraine and Georgia are due to a common historical and political heritage or the existing geopolitical conjuncture, as sovereign countries, they must be guided primarily by their own national interests, taking risks and challenges to their own national security," adds Viktor Kipiani.

In his opinion, he often hears completely irresponsible statements that allegedly Tbilisi does not send reasonable assistance to Ukraine in such difficult times for the Ukrainian people. He considers the wording of such statements to be provocative.

"The facts show that there is practically no political declaration or economic and humanitarian initiative where the voice of Georgia would not be heard. Moreover, in Georgia's case, it would be impossible to imagine anything else when it comes to a country that is the first in the entire post-Soviet space to become a victim of gross violation of international law.

Therefore, talking about the lack of proper solidarity in Tbilisi would be both a distortion of the facts of the current stage and an impure attempt to rewrite history for the future," the author of the column notes.

According to Viktor Kipiani, constructive dialogue is clear but complex. In this regard, both politicians of the two countries and public figures, in the opinion of the expert, need to rethink the existing approaches and not remain hostages of personal factors and personal influences.

"Otherwise, there is a significant risk that due to the lack of proper respect for ourselves and our partner, we will unwittingly harm our relationship in the long term.

This path will benefit neither the national interests of Ukraine nor the national interests of Georgia," sums up the head of the Geocase analytical center.

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