On the 17th of June the President of Europe-Georgia Institute – Giorgi Melashvili was a guest on the channel – TV Kavkasia in the Show of Archil Gamzardia – “Politics”. Melashvili discussed the meeting between Biden and Putin and the case of Georgia in relation to this meeting, also the involvement of the EU in settling the political crisis in Georgia following elections of 2020 and the topic of Russian aggression in Georgia and main preconditions for dealing with it.
Giorgi Melashvili stated that of course it would be great if the case of Georgia was discussed during the meeting between Biden and Putin. He thinks that the absence of the South Caucasus as a topic of discussion is a result of Georgia’s “non-irritation policy” with Russia. He thinks that “non-irritation policy” was a mistake, especially considering the fact that Georgia’s ally – Ukraine has been making a lot of efforts in order to become a relevant topic of discussion on international political agenda.
Melashvili still thinks that the general context for Georgia in terms of its international significance is not catastrophic. Georgia’s case and Russian aggression is still discussed on international level. One of the proof of this is the last summit of NATO, the communique of which made several points about Georgia. Although, Melashvili repeats once again that in case Georgia doesn’t become more active on international level, our allies and partners won’t go against our own “non-irritation policy” and they won’t be “more Georgians than Georgians themselves”.
He also discussed the importance of the EU’s active engagement in the settlement of the political crisis in Georgia. From his point of view the EU’s active efforts was a clear signal that Georgia means a lot for Brussels and that Tbilisi is a strategic partner for the EU. On the second hand, he added that it would be better if the efforts and the energy of the EU would be spent on supporting Georgia in the fight against occupation rather than on settlement of the domestic political crisis.
While discussing Georgia’s “non-irritation policy” with Russia, Melashvili stated that “non-irritation policy” with Russia can’t go alongside with another priority of Georgia’s foreign affairs, which is “non-recognition policy” (meaning non-recognition policy of Georgia’s breakaway regions), because “non-recognition policy” in essence irritates Russia, which recognizes Georgia’s separatist entities as “independent states” and it is illogical to state that Georgia, the country with non-recognition policy also could run for non-irritation policy against Russia. Once again he stated, that non-irritation policy is a mistake because the point that Georgia tries to defend its national interests automatically irritates Russia.
What can be stated about efficient management of foreign policy, especially in terms of dealing with Russian aggression – the President of Europe-Georgia Institute says that it is important to create well-functioning institutes, apart from it – Georgia should demonstrate its role and belonging, and cohesion in terms of values with the West. Without those two factors – from the view of Melashvili the capacity and efficiency of Georgia’s foreign policy is limited.