Eduard A. Shevardnadze, Soviet foreign minister under Gorbachev, dies at 86 

"He was never a true democrat because he was a person shaped and molded in the Communist system," George Khutsishvili of the Tbilisi-based International Center on Conflict Negotiation told the New York Times in 2003. "He was tolerant, but he was not a liberal."

Eduard A. Shevardnadze, who died July 7 at 86, was called the "White Fox" as much for his diplomatic skill as for his silver hair.   As foreign minister under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s, Mr. Shevardnadze nimbly faced down hard-line opponents in the Kremlin and set reforms in motion that led to one of the most momentous political transitions of the 20th century: the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia's entry into an often turbulent democratic era.   Former U.S. secretaries of state James A. Baker III and George P. Shultz have credited Mr. Shevardnadze with making it clear that Gorbachev was serious about arms control and other initiatives that had long bedeviled relations between the two superpowers during the Cold War.   "Eduard Shevardnadze will have an honored place in history because he and Mikhail Gorbachev refused to support the use of force to keep the Soviet empire together," Baker said in a statement. "Many millions of people in Central and Eastern Europe and around the world owe their freedom to them."   It was a radical legacy for a man who had been a Communist Party apparatchik from a young age. But it was not his only legacy. His renown as foreign minister was stained by his ignominious fall as president of the newly independent republic of Georgia.   After the Soviet empire crumbled in December 1991, Mr. Shevardnadze served 11 years as Georgia's head of state and became increasingly authoritarian as he guided a fractious nation located under Russia's belly along the Black Sea.   A small, ethnically divided country of about 5 million people, Georgia is valued by East and West as a gateway for transporting the oil and natural gas reserves of the Caspian Sea. Mr. Shevardnadze received about $1 billion in economic and military aid from the United States over a decade, but corruption and poverty festered. Reports of pervasive graft and corruption within Mr. Shevardnadze's family further undermined his support.   Amid separatist rebellions in several Georgian provinces and clamorous street protests, Mr. Shevardnadze resigned the presidency in November 2003 after the peaceful "Rose Revolution," triggered in part by disputed parliamentary elections.   Mikheil Saakashvili, the opposition leader and future president, compared Mr. Shevardnadze to tyrants such as Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania (who was executed) and former Yugo­slav President Slobodan Milosevic (who died while on trial for war crimes).   "I am not frightened," Mr. Shevardnadze parried. "I will not share the fate of either Ceausescu or Milosevic." 


Russian and Georgian political analysts discuss relations between the two countries.

The International Centre on Conflict and Negotiation (ICCN) held a presentation of a research undertaken in Georgia after the 2012 Elections and the prospects for Russian-Georgian relations at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on February 4.

The authors of the research are Russian analyst and a scholar from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations from the Caucasus Problem Centre Nikolay Silaev and Andrey Sushentsov who is also a scholar and political analyst from the Department of Applied Analysis for the International Problems of the same institute.

The major target of the research was to fill the informational gap in the direction of normalization of Georgian-Russian relations after the recent parliamentary elections in October 2012. Russian scholars conducted several studies in Georgia on the ground in 2012, meeting officials, public figures and members of civil society.

The research covered various topics, including postponing the process of normalization of relations between the two countries, Georgian post-election period, the issues of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia’s policy towards the North Caucasus, NATO and regional security, trade-economic relations, humanitarian cooperation and some recommendations.

Georgia and Russia: battle for the letter of "I"

For the first time after the tragedy of 2008 Tbilisi set to discuss on the level of prominent experts of Russia and Georgia how the two neighboring countries should keep existing. Analysts of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MSIIR) of Russian Foreign Ministry Nikolay Silaev and Andrey Sushentsev were the most welcome guests of the Georgian media over the past several days and the most unwelcome ones for a group of picketers who were against "the Kremlin special mission".

The report of the MSIIR representatives is titled: "Georgia after the Elections and Prospects of Russian-Georgian Relations". Perhaps, it follows that before the Georgian parliamentary elections on October 1, the very prospects were vague, to say the least. Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili insists that the country shouldn't deviate from its course to the West. At the same time, he says that Georgia has been receiving "positive impulses" from Russia recently which allows speaking of "growing hopes" for settlement of relations with Moscow and settlement of Abkhazian and South Ossetic issues. Then, the President Mikhail Saakashvili's "United National Movement" party informed that Bidzina Ivanishvili entirely "re-oriented to Moscow".

The quintessence of the Russian political scientists' report is that "Russia and Georgia are not destined to continuing confrontation", that "the rupture is taken as an abnormal state and is subject to settlement".



რამაზ საყვარელიძე გიორგი ხუციშვილის კონფლიქტოლოგიაზე

31 მაისს რადიო თავისუფლების "დილის საუბრების" სტუმარი იყო რამაზ საყვარელიძე, პოლიტოლოგი და ფსიქოლოგი. მან ილაპარაკა გამოჩენილ ქართველ კონფლიქტოლოგ გიორგი ხუციშვილზე - მის ნააზრევსა და მის მიერ წამოწყებულ მნიშვნელოვან პროცესებზე. საუბარი შეეხო გიორგი ხუციშვილის გამოქვეყნებული და გამოუქვეყნებელი ანალიტიკური სტატიების, მასთან ინტერვიუების კრებულს - "როგორ მოვაგვაროთ კონფლიქტები". ორტომეულში შესულია 1991-2013 წლებით დათარიღებული ტექსტები: „ერთი სიტყვით და ერთი ნაბიჯით გამოსავალი არ არსებობს. ამას სჭირდება პროცესები, სწორი გათვლა. რუსებმა, პრაქტიკულად, ამ ეტაპზე მოგვიგეს, მაგრამ თამაში არ დამთავრებულა, თამაში გრძელდება. შემდეგი ეტაპი ჩვენ უნდა მოვიგოთ. ამისათვის რეალობას უნდა გავუსწოროთ თვალი. ამ წუთში ხელისუფლება უმართებულო სურათის ტყვეობაშია. რუსეთი დღეს ომს ელოდება. ომი კი არავითარ შემთხვევაში არ შეიძლება, რადგან სწორედ ეს არის ის კოზირი, რითაც რუსეთი საბოლოოდ მთელ თამაშს იგებს საქართველოს დასამარცხებლად“