Sergey Markedonov: "Georgia Is Not The Country For Which Azerbaijan


18 August 2008 [16:50]

Day.Az interview with Sergey Markedonov, famous Russian political
scientist and chief of department of problems of international
relations under the Institute of political and military analysis.

– How will the world change following the next Caucasus war? Is it
possible to say that it has become bipolar?

– It is absolutely not like this. The world will be neither homopolar
nor bipolar. The terms of the cold war are completely inappropriate
in this situation.

Cold war requires ideological counteraction. The point is the
protection of Russian interests in the Caucasus, though, I think, the
Kremlin’s rhetoric was aimed at curbing NATO, that is at more global
ideas. I think, not merely global interests, but protection of the
North-Caucasus borders of Russia is important. Considering that the
latter thesis is not global, Russian leaders apply larger rhetorics,
pointing that we have averted the third world war.

Everything is just more simple. We did not want to settle the
situation, connected with the South Ossetia conflict, surrender our
positions in the North Caucasus and lose prestige.

– Some experts state that the events in South Ossetia were a
premeditated provocation of Moscow…

– The events in South Ossetia should not be regarded as events of
August 8.

They have a gap of four years. Georgia has initiated the conflict
defreezing since 2004. There are quotes, speeches, actions of Mikhail
Saakashvli. The first armed clashes occurred four years ago. The South
Ossetian conflict has had a positive dynamics, unlike Nagorno-Karabakh
and Abkhaz conflict. South Ossetia maintained contracts with Georgia,
it had joint markets, Georgian settlements, transport communication and
so on. Accelerated execution of the program for Georgia’s reintegration
started in 2004, when Saakashvili’s came to power.

In the result of the South-Ossetian conflict Mikhail Saakashvili lost
South Ossetia and Abkhazia completely. Let’s imagine that some Russian
hawks were interested in such a script, which makes punishment of
the Georgian leader possible. But it does not mean that Saakashvili
started to move towards Tkhinvali by the instruction of the Russian
special services. I think such a version is absurd.

– Don’t Moscow’s actions show that it intends to annex South Ossetia
to its territory by all means?

– Russia’s official approach on the South Ossetian conflict is
represented in Dmitri Medvedev’s six points, pointing at the wide
international discussion of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian state. For
the first time the Russian leader challenged the territorial integrity
of Georgia, which had never been made before. The final form of the
resolution of the South Ossetian and Abkhaz problem, whether it will
be an annexation or something else", has never been voiced so far. In
this case, the implied are the statements of officials-the President,
Prime Minister, state duma and others. Alexander Dugin even speaks of
assault against Tbilisi. We will not speak about Moscow’s position
on Dugin’s statements. The first step on the rejection to recognize
the territorial integrity of Georgia has already been made.

– How will the further events in Georgia proceed?

– The optimal variant is the non-increase of the number of the
potential participants of the conflict. Most depends on Russia’s
actions-whether we will move in the Tbilisi direction or no. I think
Georgian issue should not be interfered with. The tasks on South
Ossetia and Abkhazia have been fulfilled and there is no sense of
moving forward. Russian public does not approve Russia’s presence
in Georgia and it will hardly be possible to replace Saakashvili
with another one. It would be better to leave him one-on-one with
the Georgian people. He has destroyed many positive things, that
have been left since the moment of the revolution of roses, with his
adventures. Saakshvili made the wrong step towards refugees. Georgians
lived in normal conditions in South Ossetia. He used it as a live
shield. They have become refugees.

Now let the Georgian people ask Saakashvili about the support of the
USA which was to come to Georgia already on the second day. Until
Russian forces are in Georgia, people will not demand explanations
from Saakashvili.

– Why do you think Azerbaijan has not made a stake on the forced
resolution of Nagorno karabakh conflict, though it has economic and
military advantages as compared to Georgia?

– This is because the Azerbaijani leadership is wiser than
Georgia’s. War is a great policy. In this sense, Saakashvili has
stronger media positions than Azerbaijan. If Georgia was supported by
the United States and West in the South-Ossetian and Abkhaz conflicts,
in case of Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan will get the pro-Armenian
position of the West. Therefore, the concepts of economic and military
resources should be considered through the prism of the 18th century. A
prince invaded the neighbor kingdom and everyone accepted it. But we
live in a completely different world today.

In case war is initiated, Azerbaijan will face serious isolation. If
for Russia isolation is bearable enough, it will become critical for
Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani leadership is aware of it.

I think Baku’s reaction on the recent events in the region was

The first reaction was: "we support the territorial integrity of

And then, realizing that Georgia was unable to win in the
South-Ossetian conflict, Baku took the position of silence.

Georgia is not the country for which Azerbijan should argue with
Russia, not speaking of the West and the United States. The third
world war will not start because of Georgia, while Georgian government
overestimated its capacities. Unlike Mikhail Saakashvili, Ilham Aliyev
is able to assess his capacities correctly.

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