August 9, 2019
What do the Georgians want?
By Irakly Dzhaparidze
This article is about the current situation in Georgia, the general mood of the Georgian people concerning the policy of the government.
July 27, there was a protest in Batumi, Georgia, involving 30 thousand people. The protest was dedicated to the support of Georgian-Russian relations improving. The organizers are the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia opposition party. The protesters voices the following slogans: "We must start a dialogue with Moscow," "We must begin a difficult conversation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia," "The government must condemn the criminal regime of the nationals".
The protesters were furious at the ridiculous incident with State Duma deputy Sergei Gavrilov that made the path to establishing Russian-Georgian relations much more difficult. They also reminded that the Russian tourists still prevail in Batumi. The leader of the ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, claimed that it was not easy to find an alternative to the Russian market. The people also demanded to stop participating in military alliances and begin a dialogue with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The protesters emphasized that the anti-Russian rhetoric only harmed the establishment of contacts with Sukhumi and Tskhinvali. Party leader David Tarkhan-Mouravi said: "We do not want to quarrel with Moscow, Tskhinvali or Sukhumi, but this does not mean that we are giving in to something. Diplomacy is a smart word that brings peace. We want a dialogue with Moscow, Sukhumi and Tskhinvali. We want a calm, peaceful dialogue that will bring a pragmatic result. We are not inferior to anyone, but we want peace and diplomacy. We want peace, we need to work hard for it." Indeed, the hardest thing is to keep the peace.
Starting a war does not cost anything. It is more difficult to achieve a goal peacefully. It is really a difficult task. Not every politician can handle it. Obviously, the Georgian government decided to take the path of least resistance and follow the NATO course. Although military neutrality is the first step that can bring positive results. I hope that the residents of Batumi and the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia party members will eventually be able to convey to the authorities that peace and order cannot be established by saber-rattling.
It is necessary to build a dialogue, to maintain normal relations with Russia, since the existing problem cannot be solved in another way. Belligerent rhetoric can be fatal. War never brought people happiness, prosperity, well-being. The Georgian people want to live in peace. For the Georgian politicians it is time to understand this simple truth.
I am Irakly Dzhaparidze. I am from Georgia, Tbilisi. I am an independent journalist and write about political situation in Georgia and the South Caucasus.