We shouldn’t start with “red lines”



By Vestnik Kavkaza

These days the round-table discussion "Russian-Georgian dialogue. Views of young experts" is being held in Moscow. It is part of a visit by a delegation of young Georgian political analysts in Russia, organized by the Gorchakov Fund for Public Diplomacy.

Natalia Burlinova, Program Director Gorchakov Fund for Public Diplomacy

I am glad that our Georgian partners, colleagues and, I dare to hope, friends supported the idea of this dialogue, because the main objective of this project is to create a forum where young political scientists, experts, young politicians can discuss the complex issues of our relationship. The project includes meetings of our Georgian colleagues with various well-known people in the Russian Federation. Yesterday we had a meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin. We will have a meeting with reporters, we will have a meeting with political scientists. Now there is an incredible interest in Russia in the subject of  Georgia. With the changing political situation in Georgia, of course, there was the activation of public organizations and community projects. The Gorchakov Fund is an organization that was established to promote public diplomacy in Russia, first of all for those interested in establishing a social dialogue.

Georgy Kanashvili, Executive Director of the "Caucasian House" Center for Cultural Relations

We are going to develop this kind of project, and we hope that we will be able to organize exchange visits with the Gorchakov Fund. Yesterday we had a meeting with Mr. Karasin and we were able to ask all the questions that concern the Georgian side and got interesting answers. Some of our group was in Vladikavkaz and Makhachkala, and we are very pleased that these contacts are intensifying. Looking forward, there are clear areas in which progress is possible. It may be the economy, it may be human communication. There are, of course, red lines or issues where our views will not correspond in the near future, but we should not start with these red lines. The Georgian side has recently taken some steps – they appointed a special representative for relations with Russia, it is Zurab Abashidze; it was stressed that Georgia will take part in the Olympics and adjust its policy in the North Caucasus. The rhetoric of the Georgian authorities significantly changed. There are some changes in the law on the occupied territories.

Constantine Tasits, Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Research

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new generation grew up that does not have the experience of living in one state, common cultural values, which to a large extent already does not know each other. In this sense, a route for further normalization should be connected with the restoration of confidence. It is fundamentally important, it is what precedes any other action. So we need to do some work so that the Russian side can trust the Georgian side, and the Georgian side does not perceive Russia's actions as provocative.

Georgy Gvimradze, analyst at the Center for Strategic Research

I have the impression that we are slowly in small steps moving away from the mutual accusations that have characterized Russian-Georgian relations in recent years. Unfortunately, there are people who see a problem in Georgian-Russian interaction, but, in my opinion, this group in Georgia is becoming marginal. In reality, according to surveys, about 80% of Georgian society believes that it is necessary to establish relations with the Russian Federation; economic, cultural, but, of course, also political.

Andrei Sushentsov, Senior Lecturer at MGIMO


There are issues on which compromise or consensus is impossible. These issues did not appear in 2008, they had been maturing for quite a long time, they have their genesis, and it is necessary to deal with this. I think the main lesson that we were given by the conflict in 2008 shows that our illusions that we know each other and that we understand each other were wrong. Remaining from Soviet times, the feeling that we lived in one state and therefore can understand the logic of the other side was wrong. This observation was confirmed during our visits to Tbilisi, when we faced trite interpretations of Moscow's policy in the South Caucasus, which have nothing to do with reality. In the absence of any professional contact among young and mature political scientists, among the media community, a person is left alone with an information flow that cannot be checked. I hope that this will lead to a two-way process that will develop a trusting relationship. Removing barriers to communication is the first step to ensure that even the most difficult and long-standing conflicts will gradually be resolved.

1195 views


More Russian news

Matvienko: Russia-US relations at very low level

Matvienko: Russia-US relations at very low level

Relations between Russia and the United States are at a very low level, but Russia still hopes for a mutually respectful dialogue on bilateral and international issues, the Russian upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko said, …

Russia#039s Black Sea fleet holding missile-firing drills in Crimea

Russia's Black Sea fleet holding missile-firing drills in Crimea

The warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet are carrying out missile-firing drills in Crimea, Russia's Black Sea Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said. "In accordance with the combat training plan, …

 Russia and Turkey to discuss grain supplies

Russia and Turkey to discuss grain supplies

Russian and Turkish economy ministries will hold consultations on Russian grain supplies to Turkey soon, the Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexei Gruzdev said on the sidelines of an Arctic forum. …

Russian Armed Forces to increase manpower to 1.9 mln personnel

Russian Armed Forces to increase manpower to 1.9 mln personnel

The Russian Armed Forces have been ordered by the country's President Vladimir Putin to expand its manpower to nearly two million by midyear, over a million of them service members, a decree published on the government online …

Lomonosov Moscow State University hosts international conference #039Centennial of Russian Revolution of 1917#039

Lomonosov Moscow State University hosts international conference 'Centennial of Russian Revolution of 1917'

Lomonosov Moscow State University is holding the first day of the international scientific conference titled 'The Centennial of the Russian Revolution of 1917'. The conference will continue until 31 March.the Department of History of …

Putin to inspect ecological situation during visit to Franz Josef Land

Putin to inspect ecological situation during visit to Franz Josef Land

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Alexandra Land, an island of the Franz Josef Land Arctic Archipelago, on March 29 to inspect the ecological situation after the cleanup operation conducted following his previous trip …

Russia and Iran sign 14 MoUs as part of Rouhani#039s visit

Russia and Iran sign 14 MoUs as part of Rouhani's visit

Russian and Iranian officials signed 14 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on the sidelines of a meeting between the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan …

Lukashenko about his excellent relations with Putin

Lukashenko about his excellent relations with Putin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says Russian President Vladimir Putin and he will be able to solve problems facing bilateral relations without anyone's help, his press service said. …

Vladimir Putin hails Iran as Russia’s reliable partner

Vladimir Putin hails Iran as Russia’s reliable partner

Iran is Russia’s good neighbor, as well as stable and reliable partner, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he began talks with Iran’s visiting President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday. …

Stoltenberg reveals date of NATO-Russia Council meeting

Stoltenberg reveals date of NATO-Russia Council meeting

The NATO-Russia Council will meet at the ambassadorial level at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on March 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. "Following consultations with the members of …

more Russian news