Russia is doomed for “collapse” if it continues its current “19th century aggressive policy”, President Saakashvili said, also stressing that Tbilisi was aware of the need to show “strategic patience”.
Speaking before Georgian soldiers in Gori at an opening ceremony of a new complex for the MoD’s National Defense Academy, Saakashvili said Georgia was “in a difficult geopolitical situation.”
“Several kilometers from here invaders prepared military foothold against rest of Georgia,” he said. “But let’s take a broader look. This place [Shida Kartli region, which under Georgia’s official administrative division also involves breakaway South Ossetia] is heart of Georgia.”
“There are not enough fingers to count how many invaders in the history believed that seizing of this part [of Georgia] amounted to ceasing of Georgia’s existence… Many of them [invaders] disappeared and Georgia turned out to be the eternal.”
“So as long as Georgia exists this part will be Georgia and Georgia will exist forever,” he said.
“The Russian empire is in fact in a very difficult situation and if this crisis, which they have, continues, if its attempts to carry out the 19th century aggressive policy continue Russia’s further weakening and collapse – like it previously happened to Seljuq Turks Empire, then to Mongol Empire, then to Ottoman Empire and Persian Empire – is irreversible,” Saakashvili said.
He, however, also said that “this collapse [of Russia] will not solve our problems in itself”, because from the historical experience Georgia knew that “one invader was then replaced with another and one problem was always then replaced with another.”
“So we should look at this [process] from the historic perspective; even after this empire of the invader collapses we should be careful, because it may be followed with all kinds of chaotic developments and that’s [the moment] when the strength of the Georgian state and the consolidation and effectiveness of the Georgian armed forces will be decisive.”
He also said that unlike some Georgian politicians, “key actors in the Georgia democratic system” accepted major principles, such as “one should not lick the enemy’s feet”.
“It’s better to repel bear with a stick, or even better with a gun – of course the best option is to avoid a bear, but if it anyway meets you, licking bear’s one place will not help,” Saakashvili said and immediately added: “By bear I mean a bear and not any of the states.”
In the same speech Saakashvili also said: “We also know it very well, that we need strategic patience – that’s what we’ve learned from our history.”
Calling on the Georgian authorities for exercising “strategic patience” in respect of breakaway regions is part of the U.S. administration’s policy; as one senior U.S. diplomat once explained the approach implies Georgia showing itself “to be an attractive place, a stronger, democratic” country.