Can Germany help to establish dialogue between Russia and Georgia?
The leader of the party 'Free Democrats', former Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, has proposed establishing a Georgia-Germany-Russia format to reach progress in relations between Moscow and Tbilisi.
"I think we should establish a Georgia-Germany-Russia format, which will slowly begin a dialogue towards addressing the most problematic issues," RIA Novosti cited him as saying.
"Germany is a country that can play a constructive role in the settlement of the Russia-Georgia conflict," the former Georgian Defense Minister added.
Irakli Alasania also vowed that in case his party comes to power in the next year, it intends to make every effort to generate this format.
The head of the Mediterranean-Black Sea Center of the Institute of Europe of the RAS, Alla Yazykova, told Vestnik Kavkaza that Alasania's proposal is "very exotic." "There were constant negotiations between the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, and the Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Russia, Zurab Abashidze, who knows all the problems, because he was the last ambassador to Moscow before the severance of diplomatic relations. And I think that this format has been quite favorable, since they often succeed," she said.
"Personally, I always keep track of the situation in Georgia and Russian-Georgian relations, but I have not seen very close relations between Georgia and Germany," the expert added.
However, she suggested that "if he made such a proposal, it is likely that some agreement was initially reached." "In recent years Germany has been showing the greatest interest in Russia. Its position in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis is also known. So it would probably be appropriate to continue the Eastern policy on the European territory of the former Soviet Union," Alla Yazkova concluded.
Georgian political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze also considered the initiative of Irakli Alasania to be pretty unusual. However, he noted that "Georgia, unfortunately, cannot disregard any option to establish relations with Russia". "And, in principle, one can understand Alasania's desire to create a new format. But this new format will also be created in other cases, for example, between China and Russia, between France and Russia and so on," he said.
According to the expert, there is nothing unexpected in the leader of the 'Free Democrats' party choosing Germany. "A member of his team, Maia Panjikidze, was the ambassador to Germany, and her relations with Germany are very well established," Sakvarelidze stressed, adding that "any country which has normal relations with Russia could also be a subject for this proposal."