Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Readers,

As I am leaving for Georgia (civilian monitor EUMM), I'm not sure that I will keep the blog updated.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 8 – 14 September: Georgia, the show must go on … or not?

On the 8th Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the opposition Labor Party suggested, as a way to overcome the crisis in Georgia, that present leadership should resign. It is one of the breaches of the national unity that followed the August’s events.

Back the 12th from her tour in Europe and USA, Nino Buržanadze called for a probe about what happened. In straight contrast with the present national rhetoric, during a press conference she stressed that “[…] we have not won. We have been defeated severely in all directions.” Nino Buržanadze, one of the most popular politicians in the country, is a former supporter of President Saakashvili. She took distance from the Georgian leadership just before Parliamentary elections.
Actually, in the last year, Saakashili lost many comrades to the opposition, like former Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili, now of the Georgia’s way party, and former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, arrested in September 2007 after having launched his own party, Movement for United Georgia, and who eventually fled to France. A French appeals court has rejected a request by Georgia to extradite him on the 10th .

President Saakashvili, during his speech in Gori, declared “I want to state with full responsibility: I am personally responsible and I assume full personal responsibility for each and every event […]. I also assume full personal responsibility for rebuilding and establishing peace in Georgia”, words that clearly suggest that he is not considering the chance to leave his position.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Week 1- 7 September: To shake hands

A week marked by Cheney’s visit in countries described as the most endangered. But not only: a lot of shaking hands, between the Turkish President and the Armenian one, between the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization…

The most remarkable protagonist of the polics of shaking as many hands as possible is President Saakashvili. His position seems right now dependent on the support he can get from USA, and on the local propaganda. Together with a new definition of self determination and territorial sovereignty, also the concept of starting a war may face some change, if it’s true what Matthew Bryza said, that the war didn’t start “with the attack on Tskhinvali by Georgia, which we do believe was a mistake; but it began much sooner, thanks to provocations by South Ossetian militias, under the command, by the way, of Russian officers”. Is it such a support to last long? Does the polics of shaking hands pay back? For sure, Russians’ criticisms do, and they are helping the present Georgian President to keep his place.

But an inquiry on what happened seems unavoidable, opposition is not satisfied with the proposed Anti – Crisis Group and not fully with the so called “Charter of Politicians and political Parties”, and, not last, Nino Burjanadze is touring the United States…

Presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization met. As the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, they expressed support to Russia, but didn’t recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia. After Russia, just Nicaragua recognized the new two South Caucasian States, till now.

The worst position towards this matter is the Armenian one, squeezed between the needs to be in good relation with both Russia and Georgia, to welcome the principle of self determination for Nagorno Karabakh and still not to recognize any other State before it, right now that it’s trying to improve the relations with Turkey, as President Gül’s visit proves.

Finally, it’s six weeks to Azerbaijan Presidential election, and eight to Ajara’s Supreme Court one. Both events seem to be overshadowed now by what happened during this dramatic summer, and both are going to be effected by it, a lot.