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Saakashvili: 'Georgia is Russia's Major Ideological Competitor'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Sep.'10 / 12:13

  • Russia tries in vein 'to imitate Georgia';
  • 'I’m not nervous about Russo-Armenian base deal’;
  • He called the German press ‘Russophile’

Tbilisi has "an ideological confrontation" with Moscow, as Georgia represents "a major competitor" to Russia in terms of model of development, President Saakashvili said on September 3.

He was speaking at an outdoor meeting with lawmakers from his ruling National Movement party on the shores of the Black Sea in Anaklia. During the 40-minute long speech, which was televised live, he also spoke about planned constitutional reform.

"It is an objective reality, that Georgia has become Russia's major competitor in the post-Soviet space in terms of model of development; the major competitor in the sphere of ideology. [It happened] not because we wanted that - we are not obsessed by megalomania - it just happened so. We only had a very humble task - to do something in Georgia, that would have been different from what we had previously and to have a normal live," Saakashvili said.

"But as it turned out, it came into direct conflict with what is a well-rooted way of life in the entire post-Soviet space and which, first of all, is a heritage of Russia's imperial space."

He said that the Ukrainian officials were travelling to Georgia, visiting various Georgian state institutions "with pen and notebook in their hands" in order to learn Georgia's experience of reforms. He said citing an unnamed "important Moldovan figure" saying that "there is a Russian model and there is a Georgian model and we want to follow the Georgian model."

"Leadership of the empire [referring to Russia] knows all these better than we know and it is posing a fatal threat to them [the Russian leadership]," Saakashvili said. "I have listened to Medvedev's speech about the police reform in Russia - only the word Georgia was not mentioned there, otherwise it [the speech] was built on what Georgia has done with the police."

He said that Russia was "in the mode of imitating" Georgia.

"But their attempt to imitate [Georgia] will fail, because when they speak about modernization... it is impossible to build modern, 21st century society in the feudal country," Saakashvili said.

He also said that Russia was facing "other types of problems as well."

"I was speaking with one of the senior executives of OPEC recently, who said that in maximum seven years Russia's oil output would reduce by 2.5-fold... So on what Russia's wealth is standing, it is now disappearing. Time works in our favor my friends," he said.

Saakashvili also said that he was not at all concerned by Russia's agreements with Armenia and Ukraine under which Moscow prolonged presence of its military base and Black Sea fleet, respectively, in these countries.

"I am not nervous at all about it," he said. "It may be a source of concern as it may be a threat in a short-term perspective, but in a long-term it won't do anything [to Georgia]. Like they [Russia] withdrew their rusty military bases from Georgia, even sooner they will pull thier bases from those countries, not even speaking about our territories [referring to Russian bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia]," he said.

"We should now focus on development and irreversible stability of our political system," he said and added in this context that last year's lengthy street protest rallies of the opposition was "fundamentally anti-state, anti-national and anti-Georgian".

He said those rallies were financed by "Russian-Georgian mafia in Europe", which, he said, was confirmed by the Austrian police report. This report, he said, was picked up by the German press, "which has never been sympathetic towards us, because of its Russophile tendencies."

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