TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Friday that Georgia has softened its tone towards Russia in the new security doctrine. But Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and Secretary of the National Security Council Giga Bokeria deny that Georgia has changed its security concept.
Alasania is a part of Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition, while Bokeria is a member of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement party.
Their statements came in response to a TV appearance by the prime minister on Friday, when he said that the new government has changed its rhetoric towards Russia, and that this is the reason Russia has reopened its market to Georgian products.
“Only Russia cannot decide the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Much is dependent on our brothers,” he said, meaning people who live in the breakaway regions. “They should have a desire to come back, and we should make Georgia a more interesting country to achieve this.”
Georgia’s government prepares a National Security Concept, which then is approved by the parliament. Political parties, non-governmental organizations and others have contributed to the preparation of the new document.
The document sets out the vision for the safe development of country, defines threats, risks and challenges and suggests main directions of the security policy.
Bokeria responded to Ivanishivli’s statement about softening the tone in the new document, saying that the PM should explain why he thinks that Russia is no threat any more. He also said that Ivanishvili has incorrect information and ‘no changes have been made to any strategic document of the country.’
“Such document is not prepared by a single body, but they are prepared on the basis of a cooperation between different bodies. We aren’t familiar with any changes in these regards,” Bokeria said, adding that if the PM thinks Russia is not a threat to Georgia anymore, he should explain it.
The defense minister also says that no changes have been made to the strategic concept. He also said the document is now sent to the president for signing.
“We only made small adaptation of the document, which we introduced to each interested body, including the Security Council. The final version of the document was sent to the Security Council three weeks ago and we expect the signature of the president. As far as I know there are no problems towards the document from the Security Council,” Alasania said on Saturday.
He said the document will be a manual for the armed forces of Georgia. It contains evaluation and remarks of the threats and this hasn’t changed.
“The Russian Federation, its military occupation and armed forces of Russia on occupied territories remain the most important national threat to our country,” he explained.
The only new thing added to the document is that ‘a new reality’ which appeared towards Russia, the minister said, explaining that trade and humanitarian issues became the subject of talks between the two countries.
“This creates a small hope that in the future there can be a perspective of normalization in relations between Georgia and Russia.”