2020: Year of Georgia’s entry into NATO
07 October, 2010

Interview with philosopher Kakha Katsitadze


“NATO decided that Georgia would become a member of the Alliance and this position is firm,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his visit in Georgia.

He also added that Georgia would need to satisfy appropriate criteria to join the Alliance.

In contrast, Georgian soldiers are sacrificing their lives so that the dream of NATO membership comes true. They carry their peacekeeping mission in Helmand province of Afghanistan, where situation is most hazardous. This is the province from where even Britain withdrew its forces quoting excessive risks.


In his Senate speech last week on his achievements in recent years, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi boasted that it was due to his efforts that Georgian President Saakashvili survived the risk of being hanged on the highest tree. In “recognition” of Berlusconi’s words, Saakashvili highlighted intimate friendship which links the Italian PM with Putin. Provided that Mr Silvio had so much leverage, it could have been better if he had used his closeness to Putin to stop Russian intelligence officers from illegally demarcating our borders and appropriating dozens of hectares.


We talked with philosopher Kakha Katsitadze about this and other important issues of last week:
- Door of NATO is open for Georgia. But to enter it, our country needs to meet a torrent of requirements. In 2002-2003, the starting years of IPAP, NATO experts hoped that by 2013 Georgia would have satisfied NATO standards. Today they talk about the year 2020. So, we do not see any novelty in the NATO membership issue.

Q: After the recent death of four Georgian servicemen in Afghanistan, experts stated that several more Georgian battalions should be seconded there, even if each of NATO member states commission only one battalion.
A: While Afghanistan does not care for us at all, our boys diligently protect corrupted Karzai. Can our wise diplomats explain why Afghanistan does not do anything in favor of Georgia?
I am not against participation of Georgian troops in peacekeeping operations; it is in the foreign political interests of Georgia. Yet, it looks odd when we help the regime which opposes the return of our IDPs to their homes.
The reality is that Saakashvili’s regime cannot survive on sending our soldiers on such missions because the Authorities have no lasting policy and strategy.
As for the statement of Silvio Berlusconi and response of Saakashvili, we can safely assume that Saakashvili will not keep us bored for a long time.

Q: The Authorities frequently state that they have the means to pressure Russia and hey would not vote for Russia’s entry into WTO. Now it turns out that Georgia is not a party to the work group which decides on Russian WTO membership, and accordingly, cannot block any decision of the group.
A: Georgia never had any means to obstruct the WTO accession of Russia. It is in the nature of our Authorities to replace reality with virtual world.

Q: Our country tries to harmonize our constitution with Western standards. However, thanks to the constitutional amendments the Georgian President will become a ultra-party figure who would leave the party once he is elected. What do you make of it?
A: Immediately after France became a Presidential Republic, a new rule came to force. It required of the newly elected President to abandon his or her party position. This was done in order to prevent merger of the party and state institutions. But it is doubtful that this sort of constitutional changes will be functional in Georgia.
In 1936, when Stalin was adopting a new constitution, they held similar public discussions. One lawyer even went on to seriously scrutinize the draft and sent a 20-page list of comments to Stalin. Stalin grinned after reading the document and said that the man was not as wise as he had earlier thought because no one in his senses would have believed that Stalin was going to rule the country with this news constitution. Do you think Saakashvili thinks to rule the country with this constitution?

Q: Last week, Public Council was held at the Philharmonic Hall. Some call it a Russian project. Others see this move as a way of survival. What is your opinion?
A: This is neither a Russian plan, nor the road to survival. This is simply an indicator that the public is in the process of search. No one can say in advance to what results the process may lead. The opposition has depleted itself. This opposition will leave the arena for want of public trust and give way to a new force. If this composition of National Council manages to grow into a wider popular movement, it could gain the perspective. It’s because the public wants to see replacement of bankrupt opposition political parties by a wide public movement.
Lamenting of the opposition over low political level of the society has become boring. When 300 thousand citizens take to streets, political parties should not fail to lead them.

Q: Former Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who is currently in exile abroad, plans to set up a new political party.
A: I do not think it is what the public really wants. The public wants an all-inclusive movement, not just an obscure union of five opposition leaders or parties suspiciously resembling the ones that used to exist during the 2009 April rallies. Summation of poorly rated five parties is not equal to highly rated one party. However, I believe that the next year, political processes are likely to take the most unpredictable turns. You would be surprised by the speed at which events will unfold.



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