Ukraine-Georgia: close friendship does not break?

At parliamentary elections in Georgia, held on Ocotber 1, the opposition won the majority of seats. According to the country’s CEC, the coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili “Georgian dream” got 83 out of 150 parliamentary seats. The ruling party faction “United National Movement”, formed by the current president Mikheil Saakashvili will take only 67 seats. “Dreamers” beat out the ruling party candidates in both party lists and single-mandate constituencies.

Ivanishvili has already announced the new composition of the government, leaving several vacant ministry posts. The post of the Prime Minister he intends to take himself.

Meanwhile, Saakashvili has admitted the defeat of his party and announced that “United National Movement” goes in opposition. His presidential powers expire in 2013.According to the country’s Constitution, Saakashvili cannot run for presidency again, as he was already elected twice.

Following the situation, ForUm has asked Georgian diplomats and Ukrainian MPs and political scientists on how the regime change in Georgia will influence the relations with Ukraine.

Volodymyr Kornilov, political scientist, director of Ukrainian branch of CIS Institute:

- After the regime change in Georgia we won’t fight, that’s for sure – there is no need and no reason for this. Special relations between Ukraine and Georgia, which we had had during the rule of Yushchenko,  disappeared with Yanukovych coming to power, but we cannot say that for the last three years the relations between our countries have been tragic.

As a matter of fact, the regime change won’t influence the relations significantly. Everything will be ok between our countries as long as everything is ok in the very Georgia. I am saying this because the next year will be a period of serious internal shocks for Georgia, and its relations with other world countries will depend on how the Georgian society overcomes these shocks.

Dmytro Korchynski, president of the Institute for regional problems and modern political science study:

- After the regime change in Georgia there won’t be such warm relationships as it used to be under Saakashvili. Ukrainian authorities have been pretty cold towards Georgia recently. From our side nothing will change. As for Georgia, it also won’t be warm. However, looking at the things practically, our countries do not have such close ties. There is a certain political interest to Georgia, there is a common interest to make South Caucasus Russian, but economically our countries are not very close. Thus, I believe no significant changes in relations will happen.

Vasyl Horbal, MP from the Party of Regions faction, member of the MP group on interparliamentary ties with Georgia:

- I am sure the regime change won’t influence the relations between Ukraine and Georgia. All undertaken and signed obligations agreements will be fulfilled due to long-standing good relations between our peoples.

Mykhailo Pogrebinski, independent expert, political scientist, political strategist:

- It’s too early to say how the new government will behave towards Ukraine, whether it will continue the reforms and what reforms it will be, as not all ministry positions have been appointed. However, I don’t see any grounds for relations between Ukraine and Georgia to change, unlike the relations between Georgia and Russia. We know that with Saakashvili in power Georgia had no diplomatic relations with Russia, and the problem could not be solved. From now on, though, the relations between Tbilisi and Moscow will probably improve.

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