About visa-free travel for Georgia and without-visa-free travel for Ukraine
Yesterday there was plethora sad comments about the fact that the EU Parliament has approved a proposal on visa liberalisation for Georgia, allowing conditional visa-free travel for citizens. It seems that people are happy for the Georgian friends. However, they have lump in their throat because of the unspoken #betrayal. Ukraine, which is torn to pieces for the sake of this visa-free travel, has not received it. Moreover, it will not receive it before long. Or it will not receive it at all.
I’ll explain why.
Here is a bright and demonstrative detail: during the first (!) official speech of the Georgian government concerning this issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also spoke to residents of uncontrolled territories, namely, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He stressed that Georgian citizens from these regions would be also able to use visa-free travel to the Schengen area as equals.
I believe that this is the true reason for the fact that Georgia has already received it and we haven’t still.
The answer is the following: a small and poor Georgia has managed to prove by its actions that it is
a civilized country.
It took many years.
The State Minister (the position corresponds to the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine of the Cabinet) for Reconciliation and Civic Equality has lobbied for plethora decisions aimed at demonstration of the desire of the Georgian government to reintegrate the disputed territories.
Georgia is also split apart. Moreover, it comes about ideological component.
Plethora citizens of the «big» country believe that they lost Abkhazia due to Russian aggression, meanwhile residents of Abkhazia themselves consider the events of 1992-1993 yy. to be an internal conflict.
However, at the same time:
• The Government of Georgia has expanded the network of hospitals and social services offices along the border with Abkhazia. It means that people “from the other side” have the right to use all services for free as equals;
• The Government of Georgia has built towns for displaced persons and opened several enterprises specifically for employment of people from the conflict zone;
• The Government of Georgia is engaged in an open dialogue with uncontrolled regions. It is not ashamed of it. Georgian politicians do not consider direct negotiations with people from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be a “betrayal”.
In general, it means that Georgia has proved the EU: Georgians are ready to carry out their own practical policy and follow the principles of humanism, which are the basis for modern Europe.
It comes about the things, which were not done by Ukrainian power headed by Poroshenko.
Ukraine in the eyes of Europe – is a wild state, which is screaming about external aggression, and punishing its citizens from Donetsk and Luhansk for this aggression with restrictions in social assistance and free movement.
We are the country that talks about democracy. At the same time, it deprives one and a half million IDPs from the war zone of voting rights.
Europe is humane, pragmatic and cynical. They can combine all these components harmoniously.
Therefore, the EU judges according to results, not the words. The Georgians have achieved a stable peace and launched a long-term policy of reintegrating disputed territories exclusively by peaceful means. They had a threat inside the country. Nowadays, they can guarantee that there will not be armed escalation.
Why is it so? Despite the extremely high degree of anti-Russian and pro-American (the main highway of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, is called ” George W Bush Ave”!) country moods, the power managed to find a new format of relations with Russia based on principles of national pragmatism.
The trade turnover between the countries (that were making a war) is growing steadily. Russia – is the second trade partner of Georgia in terms of exports and imports (after Turkey). Almost 10% of all foreign trade of Georgia – it is operations with Russian companies.
Russian tourists became regular guests at Georgian resorts again. Air communication has been restored between the countries. However, during the war in 2008, Mikhail Saakashvili, as well as Ukrainian government, liquidated direct flights.
Georgia has proved that insults, personal ambitions of leaders and desire for revenge are not the basis for national policy. Georgia’s government is negotiating and trading even with yesterday’s enemy due to objective economic interests of their OWN country.
As a result, the EU opens the borders for citizens of a civilized country with an understandable, predictable and similar policy.
In order to get the same results, Ukraine must think about OWN interests. Everything is simple … and it is impossible. At least, it is impossible under the current power.
Link to source: Oleksandr Klymenko Official Website