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What kind of democracy "tourists" from EU teach Georgians?

16 May 2024 [14:00] - TODAY.AZ
By Leyla Tariverdiyeva /

I remember that at one time, when the local opposition had not yet abandoned the senseless idea of passing off their own interests as national ones, ambassadors or employees of embassies of some states, some individuals clearly not of oriental appearance, were noticed at the actions that took place. But it was done very modestly and almost under a mask. To stand next to the protesters, and even more so to take up the microphone, was out of the question. This was absolutely out of the question. Even the powers were aware that Baku does not tolerate interference in its internal affairs and always suppresses them very harshly. 

Diplomatically, of course. This is the principled position of a strong government of a strong state, stemming from international law. Attempts to destabilise or take control of the republic were conducted behind the scenes. No one wanted to be highlighted as a sponsor of the riots, disavow themselves and become the cause of a scandal. Because interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state is unacceptable, and once caught, it will not be possible to remain white and fluffy.

When Azerbaijan legislatively put an end to the financing of parties and NGOs from abroad, the indignation of the "democratic world" did not last long. Baku has always raised the issue of personal space very harshly. States have it as well as individuals. And it does not matter whether it is a power or a small state of the South Caucasus. In the end, everyone had to take it into account. Recently, demagoguery against Azerbaijan has been heard less and less often. And if baseless criticism is voiced by officials, then after a short diplomatic therapy it turns out that we misunderstood them.

These reflections were prompted by the news of the arrival in Georgia without an official invitation of the Foreign Ministers of Latvia, Estonia, Iceland and Lithuania, as well as the chairmen of the parliamentary committees on foreign affairs of Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania and Finland. This landing force landed in Tbilisi as a sign of support, we quote, for the "struggle for the European future."

We will not discuss, support or condemn what is happening in Georgia. This is an internal matter of our neighbour. We can only observe. But the fact of the arrival of such a large number of high-ranking "tourists" from Europe is very curious. And here we cannot remain just observers. If only because among these uninvited guests there are people who do not sympathise with us, who are an example of double standards in the flesh.

Let's take the same Mrs. Tordis Kolbrun Rijkfjord Gilfadottir, the Foreign Minister of Iceland, who, as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, was very loudly outraged by the action of Azerbaijani environmentalists on the Lachin road. It turns out that blocking streets with garbage cans in Yerevan or Tbilisi with the aim of changing power is a democratic protest, and outrage at the illegal exploitation of the bowels of Azerbaijan by Armenians is ethnic cleansing and almost genocide.  

Or another gentleman from among the "tourists" who arrived in Georgia - Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. In his profile in X, he admired the Armenians, who, they say, faced "severe humanitarian consequences" due to the "closure" of the Lachin road, and demanded that Baku comply with some decisions of the International Court of Justice. It was even inconvenient to hear accusations against Azerbaijan from the minister of a country where the policy towards national minorities is harshly and openly discriminatory. As in other Baltic countries, by the way. Lithuania's support for separatism is also going through strange turns. Separatism is supported when it comes to Azerbaijan or China, but it is equated to a terrible evil when it comes to Ukraine or Georgia.

There is also such an odious person among the arrivals as the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, Michael Roth. He has already managed to shout into the microphone at the rally and declare that "today Tbilisi is the real capital of Europe." However, for some reason, Tbilisi is declared the capital of Europe only when the West has its own plans for Georgia, and at other times they forget about the republic. Georgia's long-term expectation of the status of a candidate for membership of the European Union ended with a plus only because Europe needed to resolve the issue of Ukraine and accelerate Armenia up this ladder. Therefore, both Georgia and Moldova as a whole were accepted as candidates at the same time. If it were not for the need to promote Armenia, Georgians would have to wait another twenty years for compliance with the "high European standards of democracy."  

Roth visited Armenia last fall, and our ears are still ringing from the statements coming from there. "We are on the side of Armenia! "Stop the Azerbaijani and Russian aggression against Armenian democracy!" shouted Roth. He called on the European Union to act immediately, abandon Azerbaijani gas and impose sanctions. Roth supported Yerevan as the head of the Foreign Ministry. When asked about the Armenian mines, he pretended to be deaf and turned the conversation to the Armenian "prisoners".

In this case, the "democratic landing" does not perform a pro-Armenian function, now it has another task. But questions arise for him. For example, I wonder why Europe is silent about what is happening in Armenia today. Yes, it is clear that Nikol Pashinyan is a pro-Western prime minister and the leader of the protests Srbazan is a revanchist, provocateur and fraudster, but I think it's not about Srbazan. The piquancy of the situation lies in the fact that the West has never interfered with what is happening in Armenia and has never condemned or spoken out, even during the rule of the pro-Russian Karabakh clan. Azerbaijan faced "democratic" hysteria over every sneeze of the local opposition, while in Yerevan, the authorities really terrorised the people with complete silence from the West. When Kocharian shot demonstrators in 2008, no one threatened Armenia with sanctions. During the reign of Serzh Sargsyan, protests constantly shook the country and were suppressed very cruelly.

It is worth recalling the long-running protests of 2014, when Yerevan was practically paralysed for two months. Journalists besieged representatives of Western countries in the hope of hearing at least a word of condemnation against the authorities. And they always heard in response: "This is an internal matter of Armenia and we cannot interfere in it." At that time, the Armenian media indignantly quoted members of the Belgian delegation who illegally visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and returned to Yerevan just at the height of the riots. The Belgians expressed delight at the level of "Armenian democracy" and stated that they "are not going to comment on the internal affairs of Armenia."

All of the above raises one inevitable question: what kind of democracy did all these people come to teach Georgians? Inevitably, analogies also arise with the times of the Ukrainian Maidan, when the same "tourists" came to Kiev to teach democracy to Ukrainians. It seems that the Ukrainian people would have solved their problems much more effectively without external interests and without such terrible consequences as war.

The Georgian people would also have coped with their problems perfectly on their own. And we wish him that with all our hearts.

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