MOSCOW. (Gocha Dzasokhov, president of the Georgian Peoples Assembly, for RIA Novosti) - Georgia depends on Russian-U.S. relations more than any other country. In fact, it has become a hostage to these relations, and I pray to God that the leaders of Russia and the United States do not discard Georgia as surplus baggage when discussing their relations for the years ahead.
The great powers should find common language at long last, and turn the Caucasus into a peaceful region and an attractive example of a positive synthesis of multilateral interests.
At present, the situation in Georgia is distorted, with efforts directed at saving the bankrupt authorities rather than helping the people.
All ethnic groups in Georgia want above all certainty; they want someone to hear the voice they raised in protest four months ago. They want Georgia to have a definite future based on a peaceful policy and the country's integration as a modern society.
Both God and History have made the partnership of the great powers responsible for Georgia, and the long-suffering Georgian people expect them to justify their trust.
If I had a chance to ask the U.S. President a question, I would first remind Mr. Obama of the words of John F. Kennedy, to whom he is often compared, about "a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved."
Is it fair that Georgia's policy is determined without taking into account the opinion and interests of the people who live there?
When discussing the Georgian problem, the presidents of Russia and the U.S. are bound to touch upon the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence. We would like them to respect the opinion of the Georgian Peoples Assembly, which believes that the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has greatly raised the level of expectations for the Russian political elite.
It is highly important now to find an optimal balance between the security of the new Caucasian states and a political structure that would suit all those in the region.
Also, Russia will eventually have to address this challenging problem because Georgia will never resign itself to the loss of its territory, and will mount political, diplomatic, and possibly military pressure through third countries. We must be prepared for this.
Reconciliation will take years of hard work, because we will need to change the mentality of the people which will be a titanic task.
The program of reconciliation should be drafted by the people and public organizations of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Georgian Peoples Assembly is conducting and will continue to conduct conferences and consultations on this issue, after which we will need a referendum. Democracy is the authority of sovereign citizens. Power must be vested with the citizens, and not a group of politicians.
In the case of a positive outcome of a referendum, we would proceed to the next stage of reconciliation. It would provide for economic interaction, joint projects in different economic sectors such as energy, agriculture, trade, transportation, and tourism that would benefit all participants, and would also imply the creation of common customs and currency space.
The Georgian Peoples Assembly believes that the reconciliation process can start on two conditions: if the regime that launched the aggression and fratricide in August 2008 is replaced, and if Georgia's aggressive foreign policy is changed to a neutral attitude toward its neighbors based on the principles of friendship.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.
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