tv Worlds Apart RT July 4, 2019 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT
relations after the 2008 war in salford when the case of unfortunate seating arrangements through much of the progress out of the window with the georgians taking to the streets to decry suppose it's russian aggression and the russians turning off the top on they could all make alterations if they still are rational way out well to discuss that i'm now joined by a thorny question you had of the school of international relations at the georgian institute of public affairs and previously a foreign policy assistant to the prime minister of georgia. it's good to talk to you thank you very much for your time thank you now despite the difficult to recent history between russia and georgia many russians still entertain the idea of this unique georgian hospitality that a guest is aghast who should be treated with respect regardless of where he or she comes from how could this case of a visiting russian be on the seat he 2 can the parliament provoke such
a crisis in the bilateral relationship. and that's a very good question but it was not the only roads a visit to some obscure russian m.p. who more actually i never. had heard of him before and. actually many of my russian colleagues never heard of him before that georgian public especially the younger generation got fed up with the well thought of test because i will forward this they failed to ways of the democratic reforms they failed us economic reforms as well and finally is this the result of the mr governor who actually don't blame him personally for anything he was told to take seato the chair of the parliament and that's what he didn't know about thinking that people simply were shocked when they saw a russian communist and let me tell you one thing during the soviet to know we georgians in the 1st in the 1st place we had who was coney is as such and not to as such was a proper behavior of the soviet union but coom his regime that's what's actually
made me always made us very unhappy and when when so russian kona sitting in the chair of the parliament german parliament of georgia it made people simply mad you know because then everyone realized that this government has failed with every think and now they allow some russian conus to take seat of the chair of the jordan probably parliament where independence was actually. declared mr mr. let me ask you specifically about that because we are fresh of the g 20 summit in japan where the canadian prime minister casually chewed the seat of the russian president but it would be easy on take to suggest that justin is somehow imposing himself on russia i'm not a psychologist i am but it seems that there's a there's something bigger i'm denethor all of this oh yes because you know or japan and canada. they have peaceful relations and in georgia as you know as you might know in no way believe that to. say things that our territories. the
hotel returns have been annexed to a local pride by russia that's how it is in oh and it's a young generation who came to the streets this is a generation of the russian georgian war i believe myself for example i believe i belong to the generation of 9 april $1809.00. and you know that something is that something like this happens in your formative years you know then you will become where i want to be counted to and now this young generation simply they don't. unfortunately i would say they don't speak russian at troll and they are not interested in russian for them russia is a hostile power russia is a state led by a certain element not russian people let me just say that's what i find very ironic about this young generation of georgians that you've been referring to why rallying against these supposed russian interference is that they do themselves by using
russia as a factor in that domestic politics they're doing exactly what they like to accuse dick robin off we'll talk about the russian reaction later reach you personally describe this clumsy but 1st of all i want to know if you think the georgians themselves the government decide the hospitality industry did they play it smart this whole debacle we differentiate between ordinary russians and and or fish of moscow you might know that nothing nothing happened lately to the russian tourists in georgia they still feel safe and secure and say you can see they're walking in the center of tbilisi and what the young people did to now and in a way different to their behavior was childish you know they defied opening to russia and russians and the russian government reacted in my opinion very very clumsy clumsy and so to say they did it because they simply do not know russia told they do not. mean you know if you are so close you are arguing that the kremlin has grossly over the reactive i you prepared to say the same about you welcome patrick
it's who. to the streets with a fancy chance with placards after russia over something that russia has nothing absolutely nothing to do with i agree russia has nothing to do is go real about russia has to do something with a military base which is you know in 40 kilometers from kept them from japan this is capital of georgia for example yes i think yes russian i've been making this point for us but russian authorities overreacted by this russian authority this russian government on our side it was ordinary people young generation once again that's not our government that's young generation that's what's they doing all the emotions but look if the russian people were to take to the streets here in moscow chanting sexually explicit and sexually offensive slogans about your president. i would expect the leadership of my country to at least say that this is not appropriate in this has nothing to do with a diplomat democratic expression this is basic decency aren't the georgians bound
by it when it comes to russia where you know actually i don't see any reason why i would rush why would or new russian chant anything about our president because our president has done harm them in any way as you know but i agree a way of course the behavior of our demonstrators have been in a way in a way childish but that's young generation like they almost children know that's it to know what can you expect from them once again there is a generation of the russian georgian war and for the last 70 or so as their relations have been normalized they would think actually at the same time. they were the russian government has not done absolutely anything to change anything in. the end i understand we're aware of that russian government is not ready to take back who nation owes its territories and to stand it very well but the same time was the last 70 or since the georgian dream came to power and the
georgian dream is if friendliest go means a russian. russia can ever have in melissa in my opinion unfortunately the russian troops have been moving the dividing line the lines that divide south city and the rest of georgia inside our territory why i think it was done at the request of both south and has and governments think that they are just as bitter with you as you are with the russians i mean you have you will have to recognize that these people do not want to see the georgian authorities there and it was the case long before the 2008 of war you know that better than me that conflict began all the way back in the ninety's i don't think anyone believes that you know the russian authorities have to listen to the so-called 10 or 30 years maybe vice versa would be more appropriate. well a couple of years ago there was an agreement signed by both russian and georgian authorities to you how to move the creation of trade corridors through these breakaway republics and for the kremlin i think you have to realize that was a big stab there was supposed to be some trade that would be monitored by an
independent suisse company that would have been a step forward do you think the georgians have utilized the support units enough as far as i know our government has done its best you know to make this corridor work . the ball is on in the russian side as i know i guess the russian side did take that ball and they interpreted the vans recent events in the georgian capital as something very offensive now you previously said that there is absolutely no threat to the russian tourist in beliefs and yet we've seen some videos on you tube of people in tbilisi how rassinier russian family in a car with russian number 75 years ago this video is 5 years old right of the. 2014. then accession of crimea well maybe that media is all but there were also some news about some georgian cafes introducing
a surcharge for the russian patches and i'm sure those incidents are extremely. and i personally don't agree with their policy absolutely but you are not you are now that the president prime minister of georgia if you want these incidents to remain isolated wouldn't you expect some authority to come forward and say that something like this is not acceptable and i would do it i would do it but i think that now our government is in shock you know they're in shock and all they care about to survive as you pointed out russia has actually tried to rebuild its relationship with georgia and i think it kept it primarily to the economic and human side there was very little if any politics involved. why are those charges of imperialism aggression interference i being rehashed right now when the only thing georgians have been getting from russia flavor is the money of our tourists of our investors all of our consumers with absolutely no political strings attached. yes i agree but
once again let me repeat myself. we feel very positive vote or going to russians about tourist but the same time well the last 70 or so russia could not or could at least not to move the dividing line into georgian territory for example and at least russia could discuss for example the militarization of this also said here why would russia need a military base in 40 kilometer from to elicit people keep asking these questions georgian government actually has done quite a few goodwill gestures i mean who came to power 7 years ago for example in georgia dream. allowed russian t.v. stations. i broadcast i'm going territory and system stations they were card you know they want to tell out of a war but the day to work on the territory 2nd the dream government actually released the russian intelligence officers from georgia in prison in 2013 and
georgian government during going to try to participate in such olympic games so if you let a few who do gesture being made on both sides i hope you would they agree yes and unfortunately in russia has not done anything to change a little bit he started scoring south city from professor shushan is it did those are not the things that you can do discuss with the population those are the things you discuss among the governments and they require a lot of preparation what we are talking about here is the outburst of has silly t. some psychological projection as you describe it the frustration with the local government being imposed on to russia you know this is something that the georgian government also has to deal with this is what we are talking about i have no doubt that our bilateral relationship is very complicated but why did the georgian government reach benefited from russian it cannot make out the beach why didn't do anything to preserve what has built by now. then shock when they were all all they
care about now about this survival in the 1st place and plus you know i think this as a bit of a recent i read to do you know. how much georgia with new russian sanctions and sometimes they look at they come up with fantastic figures like to be in dollars well. i think the order will suffer of course some damage but not that much defeat at the end let me tell you one thing in 2006 russia imposed sanctions on georgia but it didn't bring georgia they cannot be and you russians you should know that for the sanchez actually in the end of the day they don't through new york because russia now is under the western sanctions ok well professor and she needs a hold that thought to be returned right back to you after a short break speech in. little
rejected. so if you want to be president. for something i want to. have to go right across the survival for 3 more people. interested in the waters and out. there. too. much of my shame serious doubts and contacts used in the wrong way carry carry potential harms like any any psychoactive substance. but used in the right way they seem to have quite a. profound therapy to potential and quite a good safety protocol is well.
welcome back to worlds apart with thorny question need to hide the school of international relations ad the georgian institute of public affairs professor session needs just before the break we started talking about the russian response to you events in georgia and i know you believe that sanctions don't work but i personally think that the kind of measures russia introduced in response to those protests in the belief the i'm the threats that it received is nothing of the kind that russia has made the e.u. or the united states even i think it's far more similar to what russia had with turkey in 2015 short term but very abrupt and very painful limits on trade me actually worked well because turkey came about within a couple of months and the 2 countries were able to rebuild their relationship very quickly but to be the new sounds of caution do you. that's likely in the case of georgia and the 1st let me tell you one thing. i don't believe that most of
the russian tourists visited georgia lately. for the last 7 years they will be discouraged now and i think most of them will keep coming to georgia despite the sanctions because they believe the door to a safe place a door they actually love georgia the damage done to georgian economy will be or will be. is not going to be that big by point now the comparison to. the turkish case. i believe unlike the turkish government georgian government simply will be unable to make any goodwill gestures now to our moscow because turkish government they could afford it georgian government simply cannot afford it because georgian public opinion believes that georgian territory by russia there's a huge difference between turkish to georgia still nevertheless i believe the moderates from the both side millicent moscow i think they could restore what has
lost all the. last 2 weeks i think it's still doable well according to the judge in the mystery off tourism this whole debacle may cost georgia around 700000000 reach by my own cultivations is roughly 15 percent of the country's budget for this year and the russian tourists accounted for about a 3rd of all foreign visitors do you think the people who framed russia as an enemy and we heard that not only from the young people you keep referring to but also from the president herself do they understand and acknowledge how much georgia is actually getting out of fresh i don't know i don't know a thing that. they believe that in their way honor is more important than money honor is also important for us when he's your people chant. fans it's actually offensive slogans about our president it's also stance if regardless of whether you voted for human not you can consider yourself
a friend and not come to georgia of course i understand it very well but some russians may still come to georgia if it were no russians come to georgia i believe georgia will survive i would like to have more options coming to georgia because let me tell you one thing for us russian tourists it's not in the 1st place about economic benefit it's about political benefit the more i come to georgia the more understand that georgia actually can be a very good friend to russia and what has been done they can ninety's when russia openly supported their presence separatists in the war in the process between georgia the presidents and one has been done in 2000 and. 8 it was a grave mistakes done by some politicians but i think george is a great country and georgian people are great people but when you speak about mass tourism i think you have to recognize that sure some people who want to go to georgia will still do that and there are no ban on traveling to georgia
specifically but that cost much more and mass tourist is far more likely to find cheaper and less politically sensitive destinations of which there are plenty i mean there is quite a competition for the russian tourist and i think that's why the of the reasons why the russian government is using that to understand i understand but i don't think that it will it is going to ruin georgia trust me it's not going to happen because it won't let me repeat myself again in 2006 much bigger sanctions were imposed on georgia and in 2007 we had 12 per cent of g.d.p. gross of course we had a different government but still it's not about ruining georgia nobody wants to do in georgia are you sad that one of the benefits of the russian tourists coming to georgia is to see that you know we can actually leave in peace or will this team goes for russia don't you have to treat it with the same respect that you demand for yourself i mean why. it ok to treat russia like that because i mean to be honest with you there are lots of historic grievances on the russian side with
regards to georges well i don't have to remind you that there are many georgian leaders who sent millions of our compassion is to the gulags and yet somehow we don't blame that on georgia but i mean maybe by little history is very complicated it should be shouldn't really be used like that. atomic bomb or the soviet to do let me live. now in russia that's not true according to. public opinion polls a very popular stalin was over to the great one of the greatest russian of all times as i remember that's an indication and many political scientists interpreted that as an indication of russians striving for about a rule of law rather than striving for. sanctions or the use of institutional violence so they point the point being sure it is that we also have grievances towards you don't we deserve from the georgians some basic respect some basic decency i understand but. do you understand but i mean i don't hear any opinion
makers in georgia to make a point that if if we want to keep good relationship productive relationship with russia perhaps we should be framed from using this country in such a way in its own political turmoil and its own domestic politics i understand but has been done by georgian officials that has been done by a young generation who once again unfortunately don't know anything about russia they don't like russia for understandable reasons and for the last 7 years. done anything to change somehow a status quo. that would not have happened trust me so really the opening of the russian market that's what's essentially not enough to win the hearts of the young people you know those young people don't care if some georgia winemakers. so a little wine in georgia that's not the point you know the point is territory as well but i mean the fee for 15 percent of your budget comes from those wind cells
that perhaps they should care i mean that's basic economy and somebody who covered the 2008 war from symbolic i can tell you that the georgian behavior there was was pretty horrendous as well and we all know how that war started so let's not rehash those same arguments the point is that you keep telling that russia hasn't done much but russia has actually tried to move a have do you think it still makes sense for russia to make any outreach gestures they say to in this way you know russia is a great power and i think great power. has more responsibility great power should be more tolerant and more responsible that's what's the door job george w. bush that is definitely more than the you were saying that george is more democratic than russia there is no competition here as long as you have people like your country and our people like our country i think even you said that you said that i didn't say that in one of your articles you pointed out that there is actually a silver lining in this whole debacle that. georgia's current government is actually
agreeing to reform. the system more quickly had a schedule why is that important that's important for him her to develop and to not because this electoral system that existed but still exist actually in all the new system has done it hasn't been changed it was pretty unfair it gave any warning party huge advantage and the georgian ram actually they promised to change the system to 40 proportional one back in 2012 because coming to power then it had been almost. almost everywhere in the post soviet union of course they did not keep their promise but now they have to make this concession there is a popular trope i think in many former soviet republics as well as among some western policymakers that russia. the main hurdle for democratization of the post u.s.s.r. and i think to some extent doctrove was rehashed by the young protesters you keep
telling me about that it is russia that is sort of preventing georgia from being a better self i want to ask you for the current situation in georgia when you are essentially ruled by a non elected oligarch actually need gave up to some extent. i don't blame russia for all the fail or for democratic reforms in georgia differently of course so we would benefit much more in for a show or was more democratic country that's not true to me for us to decide you know don't you think that perhaps this whole argument about what the russian m.p. did in the georgian parliament i mean isn't it all to me doesn't it dull to me to go down to the question of the georgians filling themselves like a victims of either russian aggression or russian imperialism and one day be able will they be able to move forward without shattering dot kind of victimhood complex some nation. complex and some nations having no post-imperial complex as you
know it i know either that's it or what i have seen over the. last 2 weeks you know for mom and his former colony you know and both the fans are suffering from the thing to some for some complex without any provocation from that former colony seriously after everything we've discussed you still hold on to that you were kind of talking about this was young generation and there was no one behinds and definitely not the usa. and i was the state department to know as you might know you know i'm erica has no i wasn't there i miss it i suggested any american army and i mean i never suggested that but i think georgians do have to take responsibility for for the how our own actions and over the last what happened over the last 2 weeks will comment hard georgians far more than russians. and i'm not saying that with pleasure i'm saying that with great regret because i think this is a great country and i would laugh more if my people to see your great culture your
great people and your great democratic transition to be fair i well let me tell you one thing and now i hope that the with this new proportional system i hope we will elect a much more. competent government and our policies will be much more comprehensive and it will make sense while mr shares your needs and best of luck with that we have to leave it there but i really appreciate you being with us today and sharing your perspective thank you very much for that thank you i encourage our viewers to keep this conversation going in our social media pages and hope to see you again same place same time here on the worlds apart.
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