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Vinegar and Honey
Georgian President: Russia is Alien To Us

Shockingly enough, it turns out that bold irredentist moves by the biggest country in a region tend to spook its neighbors. That, at least, is the tone set by Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili as he spoke to reporters during his first trip to Brussels to meet with EU and NATO officials.

On the precedent of Ukraine:

“A country that is alienating its neighbors, that is threatening its neighbors … What does the country want to achieve? I don’t have a good answer. The country with the biggest territory in the world is looking for a few more square meters.”

On Putin’s plans for a Eurasian Economic Union—the trading bloc launched earlier this year between Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Russia, which was in the mind of Vladimir Putin to include Ukraine:

“There is a much more interesting European market, many more possibilities, but [Russia is asking] why don’t you join the Russian market just because Russia wants you to. The values that are embedded in the [Russian] political system … are alien for us. They were alien for us when we were part of the Soviet Union.”

On Russia’s security offers:

“In 1994, Ukraine disarmed its nuclear weapons in a deal signed by Russia, based on goodwill to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity. On the 20th anniversary of this historic action, what do we see? We see occupied Ukraine, we see occupied Crimea.”

Amid a shakeup which saw the sacking of a pro-Western minister of defense from the Georgian Dream governing coalition last year, Svante Cornell asked whether Georgia was slipping away from the West. Though the political scene in Georgia remains complex, this is strong language coming from the Georgian president. Perhaps the balance is tipping away from Moscow among Georgia’s ruling elites.

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  • Jon Robbins

    >>”Shockingly enough, it turns out that bold irredentist moves by the biggest country in a region tend to spook its neighbors.”

    And what does Margvelashvili say about “Georgia irredenta,” AKA Abkazia and South Ossetia which have never wanted to be under Georgian rule?

  • GS

    “The values that are embedded in the [Russian] political system … are alien for us.”- not even the values themselves, strictly speaking, but their ordering into a hierarchical scale. And such scales are at the core of what the late Samuel Huntington termed civilizations. The russian values’ scale is something that only the russians and a few other equally backward peoples are comfortable with. All the others [like the Georgians in this particular example], after some contact with it, want to have as little as possible to do with it and with its carriers/adherents.

  • serge

    I thought that in the Soviet era, the Russian values were introduced by the Georgian Dzhugashvili and also Beria, Ordzhonikidze and others.

    • GS

      The law of adequacy: a leader is always adequate to those led, and vice versa. A leader of a rat pack cannot be a lion, the only thing he could be is a rat. And a pack led by a rat can consist only of the other rats, and not of anything else. A Georgian Dzhugashvili managed to become an adequate incarnation of the russian values, and a projection focal point of them [and that’s why he remains popular there even now]. This underlies his career and its stability.

      • serge

        I do not think that ‘The law of adequacy’ has something that should be taken seriously

        • GS

          Well, the laws of nature operate regardless of what we think of them. And sociology is a part of nature.

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