Saakashvili: The Russian leadership held Georgia in respect
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili recognized that the Russian leadership held Georgia in a certain degree of respect. At the same time, Saakashvili expressed his dissatisfaction with the attitude to the country by the head of the Rospotrebnadzor, Gennady Onishchenko, whose department regulates the supplies of Georgian wine to the Russian Federation.
“I want to confess today that Putin held us in great respect”
However, he also expressed opinion that to date Georgia’s in the eye of Russia has decreased.
“An official of lower rank, Onishchenko was put in charge of us, who regularly gives us a thick ear,” Saakashvili complained.
Please note that during the presidency of Mikhail Saakashvili, Georgia’s relations with Russia deteriorated gradually, and eventually they developed into an armed conflict in South Ossetia in 2008.
In this case the Georgian president tried to make out Russia in the eyes of the international community as the aggressor, and blamed personally Vladimir Putin, the then Prime Minister for the war in 2008. Even with the assumption that the Georgian side, having enlisted the United States’ support, brought its troops into South Ossetia on the opening day of the Beijing Olympics. At that time, Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush followed the course of the Games, being on the same stands.
Of course, the responsibility for the unleashing of the so-called ‘Five-Day War’ lies entirely with the Georgian leadership headed by Mikhail Saakashvili, which tried to regain control by force over South Ossetia and, as it became known later, Abkhazia.
Vladimir Putin, commenting on the relations with the neighboring country, has repeatedly stressed that he considers the Georgian people ‘brother’ and does not identify it with the Georgian leadership.
It only remains to hope that with the advent of the new leadership in Georgia, the situation will change for the better. And although the leader of the Georgian Dream, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili recently said that diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia are unlikely to be fully recovered by the beginning of the Olympic Games, this time Russian ones, in Sochi, the chasm that was arisen under Saakashvili between the two countries will certainly gradually fade.