A new page has been turned in the book of Georgian-Ukrainian relations: a delegation of the Georgian parliament, led by its speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, visited Kiev and met with President Petro Poroshenko, Chairman of the Supreme Rada Andriy Parubiy, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. During the meetings, Kobakhidze noted that the Georgian-Ukrainian political and economic cooperation was based on special friendly ties.
In the Soviet times, when friendship among peoples was an official slogan, the best example of the Georgian-Ukrainian friendship was the fact that one of Ukrainian foremost writers Lesya Ukrainka lived in Georgia, while famous Georgian poet David Guramishvili lived in Ukraine. Simply, Soviet ideologists neglected one important detail: at those times, the Poltava and Tiflis governorates were parts of the Russian Empire. Once, great Soviet-Russian poet Rasul Gamzatov pointed out that North Caucasian highlanders had made an invaluable contribution to the Georgian-Ukrainian friendship: had they not kidnapped David Guramishvili from Georgia and had he not escaped to Russia, he would not have laid the foundations of the Georgian-Ukrainian friendship.
Our message is that friendship among peoples is a complex multilayer phenomenon. Today great proletarian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky would call Ukraine and Georgia “twin brothers.” And he would have lots of grounds for this.
Today the West is doing its best to surround Russia with anti-Russian regimes. But even here Ukraine and Georgia stand apart: even the Baltics - where anti-Russian passions have always been high, where former SS-men organize parades while anti-Fascist veterans are sent to jail – have not let the West draw themselves into military conflicts. Georgia and Ukraine did it. For that purpose, they let western strategists organize the so-called color revolutions in their territories and put into power the men they needed. The orange revolution in Ukraine and the rose revolution in Georgia were like twins: in both Ukraine and Georgia, we could hear demagogues canalizing people’s displeasure into active protests, fueled by combat teams and groups of young revolutionaries, trained in special camps. In Georgia, they were called Kmara, in Ukraine Pora. After the victories, they vanished into thin air.
In Kiev, Kobakhidze visited the memorial to the heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, the Grave of the Unknown Soldier and the monument to the victims of Holodomor. A horribly familiar picture, isn’t it? Quite recently, in the very center of Tbilisi, the Georgian authorities unveiled a memorial to victims of “Russian aggression.” It would be more logical if instead of that mythical monument, Tbilisi had memorials to the people massacred during Arab, Turkish, Persian and many other invasions. But the Georgian authorities see no political need for this.
During revolutions, myths emerge as soap bubbles. Today we all know who was shooting at who at Maidan. The myth about students brutally beaten by the Berkut special detachment has also burst as a bubble. But the truth generally comes to the surface when it is no longer needed. Even the Supreme Rada is no longer inclined to call the Donbass residents terrorists. Then who is Kiev’s anti-terror operation aimed against?! It turns out that both Georgia and Ukraine bombarded territories that they considered as their own and killed people who they regarded as their own citizens.
One more thing that makes the Georgian and Ukrainian regimes look like twins is their wish to become NATO and EU members. And this wish has yielded similar results: both states see their goal on the horizon but as they say, horizon is a line one can never cross. This process has lasted for decades already and may last for as long at shortest.
And there is one more thing that is “pain in the rear” for both the regimes. A few years ago, Ukrainian-Georgian relations were far from being friendly as the first violin in Ukraine was former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. He was Poroshenko’s best friend and enjoyed very high offices but today they are enemies. Logically, it was best time for the Georgian authorities to ask their Ukrainian colleagues to extradite the runaway. But Kobakhidze made a surprising statement.
“This is not an urgent political issue for us for the moment. This issue should be settled in legal context and should hardly be discussed during our meetings,” the Georgian guest said.
Doesn’t this mean that they from Georgian Dream were insisting on Saakashvili’s extradition only when they were sure that Kiev would ignore them? On the other hand, everybody understands that Saakashvili cannot be extradited without Washington’s consent.
In Kiev, Kobakhidze also met with local Georgians, who are mostly supporters of Saakashvili and members of his United National Movement.
A few days ago, the Supreme Rada adopted a law on Donbass, a law qualified by many as a law on war. Should the Kiev regime decide to unleash a big slaughter in Donbass, Saakashvili’s fighters will come into play. But we hope that the Georgian authorities will have enough good sense and will to oppose the Kiev regime’s brainstorms and to refrain from throwing a new portion of cannon fodder into the mincing machine of a new conflict.
P.S. We would like to remind you that one of the election promises of Georgian Dream was to normalize relations with Russia.
Irakli Chkheidze (Tbilisi), specially for EADaily