Azerbaijan released two Iranian truck drivers arrested on Thursday last month, allegations of illegal entry into the country led to a straining of relations between Baku and Tehran.
The move marks a melting point in relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, a week after their foreign ministers agreed to resolve the crisis in relations through dialogue.
The Azerbaijani customs department announced on Thursday that it had handed over the driver to the Iranian side by a decision “guided by the principles of humanism, mutual respect and good neighborly relations”. The confrontation between the countries was caused by Tehran's accusations that its sworn enemy Israel maintains a military presence in Azerbaijan. Baku rejected these claims.
Iran has promised to take all necessary measures and conducted military exercises near its border with Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov spoke by telephone to his Iranian colleague Hossein Amir-Abdollahian last week, and the couple agreed to resolve the disputes through dialogue.
Israel is a major arms supplier to Azerbaijan, which won a six-week war with neighboring Armenia at the end of last year to control the dispute. Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan and Iran have long argued over Tehran's support for Armenia in the decade-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeiba supported on Thursday the national elections will take place on 24 December, as set out in the UN-backed peace plan.
In his speech at the Libyan Stabilization Conference in Tripoli, he said the end of the protracted crisis that engulfed the country after the NATO-backed uprising that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
“We support the efforts of the Higher Electoral Commission to hold (vote) on schedule. I call for broad and effective Libyan participation in the elections, “said Dbeiba.
The elections, negotiated through a UN-backed peace process, were seen as a key step in ending decades of violence. creation of a new political leadership. whose legitimacy is widely recognized.
Debates on the constitutional basis of elections, electoral rules and doubts about their reliability threaten to undermine the peace process.
The United Nations has called for presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 December.
Although parliament passed a law on presidential elections that day, it passed a separate law stating that parliamentary elections would be held later. Other political institutions in Libya have rejected parliamentary proposals.
President Saakashvili's United National Movement (UNM) party expects to return to power after the second round of municipal elections on October 30 … Opposition plans were publicly revealed by UNM member Nikola Oboladze. According to him, after the election, the Georgian dream party will lose power in big cities and it will be the first step to change the government in the country. “MK” has found out if the Saakashvili era will return to Georgia.
The second round of local elections in Georgia on October 30 will be held in 20 municipalities and 42 majority districts. The mayors will be elected in five major cities – Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Poti and Rustavi. In the capital, the current mayor of Tbilisi and the general secretary of the Georgian dream party Kakha Kaladze and the head of the UNM Nika Melia will compete for the post of mayor. The election will be held in difficult conditions: Saakashvili is in prison and rallies of his supporters and opponents continue in Georgia.
Experts believe that the ruling party will win the battle for the capital: Kaladze is a very popular mayor. But Melia is gradually gaining political weight with her scandalous public fads, which are so popular with Saakashvili's voters. He has already managed to sit in prison in an attempt to seize the parliament building on June 21, 2019 (these events were called “Gavrilov's Night” in Georgia – in honor of Sergei Gavrilov, a member of the State Duma, who sat in the chair of the Georgian parliament at the interparliamentary assembly. , which provoked the riots). Furious, Melia went to prison for publicly ripping off a bracelet worn by the police and refusing to bail. Thanks to this, the European Union bailed him (an unprecedented case) and the cunning Melia was at large and with a clear conscience. But looking at him, the words of Mayor Kaladz, who pompously launched his election campaign, is somehow not surprising: “We must choose between darkness and light. On the other hand – evil, hatred. Therefore, it is very easy to choose. “
” Saakashvili's companions need in prison “
The main intrigue of the upcoming elections is the question of how their outcome will affect the arrest of former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who called on his supporters to protest daily from Rustavi Prison. He also turned to Georgian emigrants with a request to come to Georgia “for a decisive battle” by the end of October.
The results of the first round of elections showed that the UNM (Saakashvili's supporters), albeit insignificantly, nevertheless strengthened its position. In the first round of municipal elections on October 2, the ruling party won 46.75% of the vote, the UNM – 30.67%, the party of ex-Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia “For Georgia” – 7.81%. (UNM won about 27% in the 2020 parliamentary elections)
These numbers suggest that Georgian Dream won again with a significant lead. His result could have been more impressive had it not been for the participation in the election of Prime Minister Gakhari's party, which many experts consider a spoiler party created specifically to take part of Dream's votes. Recall that Giorgi Gakharia was one of the most popular leaders of the ruling party, served as Minister of the Interior Ministry, then led the government. In February this year, he resigned as Prime Minister of Georgia and soon became the head of his own party. The leader of the “Dream”, Oligarch Bidzin Ivanishvili, publicly called the prime minister a traitor in this regard. It was clear that “Dream” voters would vote for Gakharia because he had always acted as an opponent of the UNM. And it is quite clear that without Gakharia's participation in the fight for the post of mayor of Tbilisi (he took third place), Kaladze would have won in the first round with a big lead (now the gap between him and Melia is 11%).
In the second round, the Mishists have high hopes. But it is unlikely that it will radically change the balance of power. So far, UNM has improved its results by 3%. That is clearly all that they managed to “squeeze” out of Saakashvili's arrest the day before the election. In addition, this arrest played a dual role. On the one hand, he mobilized his supporters. On the other hand, the opponents also mobilized. I immediately remembered everything: the execution of people on the streets, prisons, brooms and the loss of 20% of the territory. At one time, “Dream” came to power on a wave of hatred for Saakashvili. This hatred was so strong that the “dreamers” didn't have to do anything for a long time. Only on the eve of the election to remind voters: brooms, Abkhazia, Ossetia.
Today in Georgia there is a certain fatigue from the “Dream” and irritation caused mainly by socio-economic problems. For example, in 2022, an increase in pensions is planned in Georgia. Retirees under the age of 70 will receive 260 GELs, over 70-300 GELs (for $ 1 today they give 3.1 GELs). The retirement age in Georgia is 65 for men and 60 for women. A $ 80-90 pension is only enough to pay for utilities and a minimum set of products. It would be incorrect to blame Dream for the current economic downturn, which is mainly associated with a pandemic. In addition, many of Georgia's current problems were posed during Saakashvili's ill-considered neoliberal reforms. Yes, there is disappointment in the ruling party. But it is still not enough for Georgian society to throw itself back into the arms of “mischievists”. And they seem to understand it, and they don't even hope to come to power legally. Their calculation is for the new Maidan and the coup. But they do not have enough strength for that, which was clearly shown by the recent meeting in Freedom Square.
Last week, two mass events took place – supporters and opponents of Saakashvili. On October 14, UNM held the most massive rally in recent years in central Tbilisi and demanded the release of the former president. The party leadership said that about 50,000 people took part in the demonstration. At the same time, the UNM refused to support other opposition parties. This is due to the opposition's reluctance to see Saakashvili as its leader and the fact that his return, even in such an original way, has provoked dissatisfaction and rejection among many.
16. In October, about two thousand victims were killed in Rustavi near the walls of the prison where Saakashvili is located. Demonstrators declared their determination to prevent the release of the former president and demanded a life sentence for him.
Saakashvili's supporters managed to gather a large enough demonstration in Freedom Square on Thursday by bringing people from the regions, “said MK” former head of the State Chancellery of Georgia Petre Mamradze … – We spent a lot of money on it – hundreds of thousands of lari. And people liked to go on an excursion to the capital. As for the number of participants in the rally, various figures are given, but it seems to me the most adequate – 12-15 thousand. The people in the square stood quite freely because they kept their social distance. Everything was organized from Tbilisi. Minibuses were rented to track people to Megrelia in Adjara. Of course, participants in such events are always paid. Although there are many enthusiasts who set out for free. These are former fans of the first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a nationalist who later joined Mish. Everyone is usually over 70 years old now, and they don't need a special invitation: Misha, after all, buried Zviad in the Pantheon. But there are few of them.
According to the expert, there is no need to wait for any mass events until October 30, let alone riots. For the new revolution, Saakashvili's supporters lack the necessary resources and support. Plus, people are tired.
– The UNM is now constantly talking about a peaceful path, a coalition government. Because they understand that radical manifestations only turn people away from them. But I would like to add that the families of those who suffered under the Saakashvili regime met completely spontaneously in front of the prison on Saturday. Television channels – Saakashvili's trumpets – did not show this event at all. If Saakashvili hoped that people would come to his defense, he did not apologize:
On the very first day of his arrest, it was clear that there was clearly no mass interest in his fate. No one moved, no one spontaneously took to the streets. His co-owners need him in prison. Nobody wants it to work.
“This is about nine million lari”
“The return and arrest of Saakashvili will most likely not change the organization of political forces in the country, but radicalize the opposition,” said political scientist Igor Gvritishvili. “That was exactly the purpose of his visit: he knew he would be arrested, but he hoped it would increase his influence among supporters. Of course, he expected hundreds of thousands of people to come out to defend him. That hasn't happened yet. His second goal is to activate the West in support of it, where he has a relatively strong position in the European Parliament, in the US State Department and among democratic congressmen. He counts on their support. He expected to be released under Western pressure. As you can see, this is not happening yet.
According to the expert, Saakashvili's arrest could have been a joint operation of special services of Georgia and Ukraine.
– Did you pay attention to the statement by Prime Minister Garibashvili, who thanked the Ukrainian authorities for their help in catching Saakashvili? From this we can conclude that they worked at the level of special services and knew about his arrival. He had to be imprisoned, so he would not be released under any circumstances. He will be in prison for 6 years, unless he is given a term under other articles. If he is released, it will mean the end of the ruling party. This demonstrates the weakness of the authorities and the Georgian Dream Party, which loses its supporters and even falls apart. In fact, it came to power in a wave of Saakashvili's displeasure.
– It's quite likely and good if that were the case. I do not think that he can seriously increase his influence now, because many in Georgia believe that the loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is his fault. This will prevent him and his side from coming to power again. Defeat in war is deeply rooted in people's memories. That is why a new “rose revolution” in Georgia is impossible.
However, according to Peter Mamradze, Saakashvili continues to support some large entrepreneurs, such as multimillionaire Koba Nakopia, often referred to as the president's “golden credit.” And who, by the way, has already visited our hero in Rustavi Prison and found that he is “in excellent shape”. By the way, Nakopia is indicted in the Panama Papers. During Saakashvili's presidency, he successfully and, as they say, not quite legally became the owner of the Madneuli mine, where copper and gold are mined. So it is not a problem for him to pay 300-400 thousand GEL for the organization of the rally.
“Interesting point,” says Mamradze. – Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili told reporters that former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, who was released from prison in 2020, convinced Saakashvili that the time had come for him to return. I think it can be believed. Because Merabishvili himself did not refute these words. And he has a grudge against Saakashvili. He served 7 years for the criminal tasks assigned to him by Saakashvili as president. If the prime minister said that, he probably has information, such as phone call records. “
At the same time, the former head of the state chancellery doubts that anyone in Georgia's power structures would be interested in arresting Saakashvili and deliberately luring him into the country. The “Georgian dream” does not need problems with Western partners, which are very difficult to convince that Saakashvili actually committed crimes. Take, for example, the so-called “jacket business”. Americans and Europeans often tell me, “Well, how is it possible to arrest a former president for two jackets bought on government account?” What are the two jackets? It is about nine million lari that the president has spent on the budget for his own pleasure. Entertainment in resorts, cosmetic operations, studies for sons, gifts for women. How can the budget fund the education of presidential sons in expensive private educational institutions? Or botox injections? “
” And again, you have “navels”
According to our expert, the method chosen by the leader of the Pink Revolution to return to his homeland says that he has finally lost touch with reality.
“It reminds me of his behavior on the night of August 8, 2008,” says Mamradze. – When Misha and her entourage celebrated the “liberation of Tskhinvali” in the famous sulfur baths. I know about it from the spa staff. No one could get to him. At that time, the mayor of Tbilisi Ugulava was carrying a column with a red carpet, stands and more than two thousand Georgian and Ossetian flags to the triumphant parade in Tskhinvali. Our Western partners are well aware of this. That's according to a secret NATO report. All this was brought from here, from Tbilisi, and on the 7th the press was mobilized. And the speeches were ready, I read them. “My dear Georgians and Ossetians! Kokoity has escaped, Tskhinvali is free. “Misha was to give this speech in Tskhinvali. This is one of his famous speeches after the escape of Aslan Abashidze from Batumi:” Abashidze has escaped, Adjara is free! ” provided after August 2008, it is claimed that Moscow was allegedly given the “green light” to enter Tskhinvali and restore order, in any case they understood the situation and the reaction of the Russian Federation was completely unexpected for them.
– The West was sold a version that the “young reformers”, out of naivety and inexperience, believed in Russia's assurances, enforced themselves and got what they received. By the way, the then Minister of State for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili said on television on the evening of August 7: “Dear! I still do not dare to say how Kulachmetov (Commander of the Peacekeeping Forces – MP) helped us! But the time will come, I will tell you everything. “And on August 5th and 6th, people stopped me in the streets, because I was an MP and said, 'Batono Petre! We already know that we have agreed with Kulachmetov and the peacekeepers will let ours pass. This information has spread everywhere. Near Dmenisi, Russian peacekeepers actually raised the barrier and our columns passed without hindrance.
– The paradox is that none of these traders really want them to come to power again. This is a typical Georgian moment. To use it – yes, to keep it as a symbol – yes, but to do everything you can to get out of prison, no. This is a really comical situation: no one needs it, but it will come in handy in prison.
– 12-13% of the adult population supports it with enthusiasm. These are the ones who will go to vote for him in all weathers: snow, rain, hail. With our usual turnout around 50%, that number rises to 26%. And now Saakashvili's supporters have taken more. People's fatigue from the “Dream” affects. I do not think that the second round will radically change the balance of power. The ruling party has a problem only in Kutaisi and Zugdidi. Remember how during the Pink Revolution, Saakashvili burst into parliament and drank tea from Shevardnadze's glass? Now, at a rally, the former mayor of Ugulava shouts, “Saakashvili drank tea and changed Georgian history, but he was not allowed to finish his khinkali! (The ex-president said he ordered khinkali before his arrest, but only managed to eat one piece. – MP) But he will eat them and the “navels” (inedible “tails” of khinkali – MP) will remain for you. “… but it turned out that this was said to the unfortunate, thin older people – the Gamsakhurdie fans who were standing at the rally. “
Gloomy Anniversary /strong>
This year, a significant anniversary was quietly celebrated: a hundred years of the so-called “Sovietization” of Georgia. They did without fanfare and fireworks: Soviet power was long lacking in either Georgia or Russia. And in Georgia, it's a mourning date in general. At the initiative of Mikhail Saakashvili, the Day of Soviet Occupation is celebrated there every year on February 25. It was on this day in 1921 that the 11th Red Army entered Tiflis. The events of 1921 in the USSR were officially called “the struggle of the Georgian people for the establishment of Soviet power” and today are often referred to as the “Soviet-Georgian war.”
During these events, whatever they were called, Georgia's second annexation to Russia took place. The first, as you know, took place in 1801 at the urgent request of the Georgian kings. After the collapse of the Russian Empire on May 26, 1918, the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia was established. Soviet Russia recognized his sovereignty and even established diplomatic relations with him. Surprisingly, the main “locomotive” of the Sovietization of Georgia was ethnic Georgians – Bolsheviks from Lenin's area. First, Sergo Ordzhonikidze, who convinced the leader of the proletariat that Menshevik Georgia had become “the center of the world counter-revolution.” This was partly true because the young democracy not only attacked its neighbors, arranged the “first genocide” for the Ossetians, sent troops to Abkhazia and even Sochi (from where Denikin was forced to expel them), but also became the main sponsor of all anti-Soviet movements on North Caucasus. All this outrage could only be stopped by the reintegration of Georgia into Russia – but on new foundations.
The Bolsheviks proposed their own project of integration of Georgia – Soviet. The previous one can be called “imperial”, as it concerned mainly the Georgian aristocracy, which perfectly integrated and merged with the imperial nobility. The new project involved the whole nation. And the Georgians integrated so remarkably into Soviet reality that their republic became the richest and most prosperous in the USSR.
The current Russian Federation has no project to integrate Georgia. In addition, the idea itself is recognized as unnecessary and harmful. The Kremlin believes that in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation in the Transcaucasus, it is enough for it to assert itself in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Meanwhile, history repeats itself and Georgia has become a springboard and a rear base for all forces hostile to Russia.
Overall, we no longer care who is in power there. Radical Russophobes are replaced by moderate Russophobes, and vice versa. All other forces were pushed out of the political arena. Georgia supplies cadres for the “color revolutions” and Pinochet-style neoliberal reforms to the entire former USSR. The topic of Chechnya has temporarily died out, now Georgian militants are killing Russians in Ukraine. This is their revenge on Abkhazia. There really is nothing to celebrate.
As stated & quot; Commenting on the political situation in the country, Glavred, a Ukrainian expert from Taras Zagorodny, said that the political situation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenský was very uncertain.
According to him, the limit for the decline in the Green Rating is 10%.
& quot; This means that at least as many voters vote for power & hm; they are usually officials or paternalistic people. But such a rating & mdash; this is, in fact, Zelenský's political death, which may come sooner than he thought & # 39; & # 39; he said.
Photo: Kremlin.ru. During a speech at a meeting of the Valday Club, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that what is now being seen in the energy markets is a manifestation of capitalism that is not working.
According to Putin, the price of gas in Europe has already exceeded $ 1,000 per 1,000 cubic meters at market settlement.
Photo: Kremlin.ru. During his speech at a meeting of the Valday International Club, Russian President Vladimir Putin touched on the situation in Ukraine and the head of the political council of the Opposition Platform Party – For the Life of Viktor Medvedchuk.
For high treason. For what? Did he steal some secrets, secretly pass them on? Putin asked.
The Russian leader continued that, in his opinion, Medvedev was being persecuted for his open political position. According to Putin, Medvedchuk's activities were aimed at stabilizing the domestic political situation in Ukraine and building relations with neighbors. Putin stressed that this is important for Ukraine itself.
“It seems that the people of Ukraine are not allowed and will not be allowed to form a government that reflects their interests,” the Russian president said. The Russian state called the situation in Ukraine a dead end and noted that there was a group of people in power and that it was she who was running the country, not the president. He said that Ukrainians began to be afraid to respond to opinion polls, the military development of the territory of Ukraine is underway, which poses a threat to the Russian Federation.
“We will see what happens on the Ukrainian political scene in the near future,” he added.
Polish Prime Minister During the speech in the European Parliament Mateusz Morawiecki said about EU blackmail over the conflict over the Polish judicial reform, says Die Welt. “I reject the language of threats and blackmail,” Moravetsky said, adding that the practice had become a method of constant communication with some EU members.
Many deputies negatively assessed this Moravetsky speech. So the leader of the European People's Party, Manfred Weber, said directly that such a speech would please Russian President Vladimir Putin. “With your speech today, you are spreading confusion and strife in the European Union.” With such a political step, you are weakening Europe, “the politician remarked.
Weber also noted that those who reject the precedence of European legislation are located outside the European Community.
Earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen criticized Poland's behavior in the European Union and threatened that Warsaw could be deprived of its right to vote in EU decisions.
Former Service Chief Ukraine's security predicted the country's defeat in the event of war with Russia. On the TV channel “Apostrof”, he named the weaknesses of the Ukrainian army and predicted the course of hostilities.
According to the general, the best and best-trained units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are now in Lugansk and Donetsk, which poses a strategic threat … “Who said that a possible war would be in Donbass alone?” – he asked. Smeshko.
According to his forecast, the Russian armed forces will attack Ukraine from the south and north, leaving its army in a cauldron. Smeshko noted that while the country does not have modern means to achieve air superiority. Almost all weapons in the army's balance sheet are products of the CIS countries, which do not represent a military secret for the Russian Federation.
According to the general, Russia could use the air force. With the help of guided missiles and strategic bombers Tu-160 can easily hit the desired targets, Smeshko concluded.
Read also: The United Kingdom has announced the end of support for Ukraine