On October 4, while hosting Night Studio on TV Obiektivi, Bondo Mdzinarashvili stated that the West does not allow Georgia to conduct direct dialogue with Russia independently. According to him, the existence of the direct dialogue is up to Moscow and Tbilisi, as well as Tbilisi and Sokhumi and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali to decide. Bondo Mdzinarashvili’s statement repeats calls voiced in a video clip of the Alliance of Patriots that aired on TV Obiektivi on August 6, 2017. In this video clip, the Alliance of Patriots was calling the population for creation of Georgia – NATO – Russia format, beginning the direct negotiations with Russia and abolishing the Law on Occupation.
Bondo Mdzinarashvili, the Host: “We are being told by our Western friends that we have to speak with Russia, but, at the same time, they are telling us that we have to speak with them together with them. There is this moment, too, that creates a problem in this obscurity, namely, that it is up to Moscow and Tbilisi to decide upon the direct dialogue between Moscow and Tbilisi, as well as the direct dialogue between Tbilisi and Sokhumi and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali. It seems like, as long as we don’t have it, they are not letting us. Remember when there was an offer from Russia? The President [Giorgi] Margvelashvili stated that he would consult with our partners and decide upon participating on the upper level only after that. It was an astonishing answer, which meant that the first person, the General-in-Chief of Georgia, cannot make decision independently whether to negotiate with somebody, he needs to consult with the partners.”
October 4, TV Obiektivi, Night Studio
The statements of the TV Obiektivi host and the Alliance of Patriots on the initiation of direct dialogue with Tskhinvali and Sokhumi aim to abolish the Geneva Talks format and leave Georgia vis-à-vis the aggressor country. Moreover, one of Russia’s goals include portraying the problem as a conflict between Georgians and Abkhazians and Georgians and Ossetians, where it plays the role of the mediator, not the occupant.
- As a result of the full scale military aggression carried out by Russia against Georgia, occupation of its integral parts, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, and recognition of their independence, Georgia cut diplomatic ties with the Russian Federation on September 2, 2008.
- The Geneva International Discussions were launched after the August 2008 war to ensure the implementation of the August 12, 2008, six-point ceasefire agreement.
- The Geneva International Discussions is the only format, which provides an opportunity for holding a dialogue with the representatives of Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. The Geneva International Discussions are co-chaired by UN, OSCE and EU and they involve the representatives from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as members of Georgian exiled administrations of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
- Geneva format is important in a way that Georgia is not left alone vis-à-vis the aggressor country and all of Georgia’s international partners are involved.
- Representatives of the occupational regimes are represented not as sides, but as individual persons in Geneva talks, which again underlines the legal status of the self-proclaimed republics and the fact that the 2008 war was an intervention of the neighbor country – Russia to Georgia, thus, recognizing Russia and Georgia as the two sides of the war.