Андрей Сушенцов
Waning of the Ukrainian crisis may recreate conditions favourable for the meeting between the Russian and Georgian leaders. However, normalization in relations of the two countries has distinctly set limits, for the global strategy of the Georgian leadership remains unchanged.
16 октября 2014 | 20:58

Limits of normalization between Russia and Georgia

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In January 2014 a possibility of a high-level meeting between the Russian and Georgian leaders was discussed in expert circles. Russia was completing the preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and managed to enlist Georgia’s assistance on some important security issues. Despite certain resentment existent in parts of the Georgian establishment, Georgia’s team took part in the Olympic competitions. In these favourable conditions the two leaders, Vladimir Putin and Irakli Garibashvili, did not rule out a possibility of a meeting. This made experts speculate about a probable agenda of these discussions. The first Russo-Georgian summit after the 2008 war was expected to arrive at some agreements bound by the leaders’ signatures. So in which spheres was the progress seen as most likely?

With all the huge expectations concerning the Russo-Georgian relations earlier this year, it is now difficult to admit these expectations are all in the past.

The Ukrainian crisis emerged high not only on the European agenda, but also on the agenda of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Russia could not escape treating the processes in Crimea and Donbass – not to mention the political antagonism with the West, which was rising in the beginning and then started to decline – with paramount attention. In the short term, the highest priority for the Russian leadership are the Ukrainian crisis and the relations with the EU and the US in the Ukrainian crisis context. While President Putin and Prime-minister Medvedev used to publicly address the topic of Russian relations with Georgia several times a year, it has not happened once since the beginning of the acute phase of the Ukrainian crisis.

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