On Apr 21, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin visited Georgia and met with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Janelidze. The foreign minisetrs adopted a joint statement on the occasion of the 25th year of Georgian-Ukrainian diplomatic relations, summed up the results of their cooperation and outlines plans for 2017-2018.
“This is my first official visit to Georgia. But I don’t have the feeling that it official. This is more like the situation when friends come together just to discuss some questions… Our contacts are related to people and are based on mutual sympathy and friendship. This is beyond any official framework. We highly appreciate this kind of friendship,” Klimkin said at a press conference.
“We have not only common values but also a common vision of our goals. We have similar problems. We both are moving towards the European Union and NATO and I am happy to see that you have been granted visa-free regime with the EU. I hope that in some few weeks, we will also get it,” Klimkin said.
Janelidze said that Georgia enjoys special relations with Ukraine and that despite some common challenges, both nations are committed to integrate into the EU.
“We are happy that this year is very fruitful for our relations. We have had lots of mutual visits and meetings. We hope that the Ukrainian president will visit our country and we will do all we can for making this visit possible. We want our contacts to yield specific results. I hope that I will have a chance to visit Kyiv in near future,” Janelidze said.
This exchange of diplomatic compliments implies that Georgian-Ukrainian relations are improving.
Under Mikheil Saakashvili, they were very good. Saakashvili was on excellent terms with Viktor Yushchenko. Both were the sons of color revolutions. When Yushchenko faced problems, Saakashvili sent his men to Ukraine. Those Georgian “Sonderkommandos” were meant to help Yushchenko in his fight with the Regions Party. It was a direct interference in Ukraine’s affairs and a breach of the international law. But this is not the first example when the international law is violated with no consequences for the violators.
Later, in 2012, the Georgians voted for the Georgian Dream and overthrew Saakashvili. They called his men “Nazis” in analogy with German Nazis and claimed punishment for their crimes.
It was then that Ukraine became for the Georgian Nazis something like South America was for the German Nazis after WWII. And the selfsame Petro Poroshenko, whom Janelidze hopes to welcome in Tbilisi this year, have shelter to Saakashvili and made him the governor of Odessa region. He ignored all the Georgian Dream’s requests to extradite Saakashvili and his men. And now when Saakashvili has bitten the hand of his master, Poroshenko has decided to improve his relations with the new Georgian authorities.
But how good will this be for the Georgian Dream? During his visit, Klimkin went to the “Tskhinval region” (on the border with South Ossetia - EADaily), where he met with 82-year-old Dato Vanishvili, whose house was cut from the rest of his village when the South Ossetian authorities put wire fences there.
“I meant a lot to me to shake hands with that man. It was like touching the Russian occupant regime and its victims,” Klimkin said.
Klimkin’s hypocrisy has no limits. And what did that handshake mean to old Dato, who faced that situation exactly because of politicians like Mr. Klimkin?
“It’s really hard to see such things with own eyes. I have similar emotions whenever I visit Donbass, when I stand near the line that divides the region just because part of it has been occupied by Russia. I regret to see people being killed there on a daily basis and I would like to express my solidarity with the people who opposed the Russian aggression in Georgia and fought for their country’s independence and freedom,” the Ukrainian minister said.
Here we cannot help remembering U.S. Senator John McCain, who also visited both Donbass and South Ossetia this year. What Klimkin said was almost the same McCain had said before. But what was the goal of Klimkin’s visit to the dividing lines? Was it to see bombs exploding again there like was the case in South Ossetia in Aug 2008 or in Donbass today? It looks like it is.
It has become a habit in the world to make people unhappy and then to pity them in public and to blame opponents for their troubles. We hope that this epoch of lie will come to an end and that information war strategists will no longer be able to call black white.
Irakli Chkheidze (Tbilisi), specially for EADaily