Hopeful Moderation?

by Joshua Foust on 11/1/2006 · 1 comment

Gela Bezhuashvili, Georgia’s foreign minister, has come to Moscow for the first high level talks between the two countries in months.

Mr Bezhuashvili told the BBC’s Matthew Collin in the Georgian capital Tbilisi that he wanted dialogue and was ready for compromise, but called on Russia to use persuasion rather than threats to strengthen its influence in the region.

He said he was going to Moscow to explain that the Georgian government might be pro-Western, but it was not anti-Russian.

He argued that Russian interests would be better served by having a good relationship with a stable neighbour.

Huh. So it looks like the Georgian government finally got the message and is going to try finesse, instead of finger poking to resolve its problem. Now the big question is whether or not Russia plays along, or keeps on pressing Georgia, attempting further economic isolation and “peacekeeping” in Abkhazia.

He suggested that Russia could show leadership by helping to resolve the conflicts in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, rather than – as Tbilisi believes – manipulating them to undermine the country.

Well. I guess this at least shows some promise, if only because Georgia has finally begun cloaking their grievance in more ameliorative language.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Major John November 2, 2006 at 8:53 am

Darn Georgians – if they would only be mindful of poor Russia’s feelings. Sovereignty over your own territory, not behaving as a cringing satellite of Moscow’s – bah.

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