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Dimitri Lortkipanidze: For the West, we and Ukraine are political instruments against Russia

Relations between Russia and Ukraine are still tense. With the parties unable to reach an agreement on any issue and confrontational rhetoric on the rise, the danger of escalating into an armed conflict is great. The West and Ukraine have publicly stated that Russia is preparing for an attack, while Moscow denies this. The Russian side claims that Ukraine itself is planning a provocation in the Donbas and is preparing the ground for blaming Moscow for everything. The fact that the talk about the impending provocations of Ukraine by Russia is not groundless is clear from a number of circumstances. It seems that the creator of these processes is not only Ukraine. This is confirmed by the fact that the Americans are, in fact, repeating one by one Kiev’s rhetoric about the threat of Russian aggression.

Who needs to unreasonably prove that Russia is preparing for war with Ukraine, time will tell, but one thing is already clear – if the West, for its own security, really forces some military action against Ukraine, the West will certainly have to say that it was predicted a long time ago. .

On January 14, a cyber-attack was carried out on Ukrainian government websites. According to media reports, the targets of the attack were the websites of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education and Science of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers. It was later reported that the attack was carried out by Belarusian special services. Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Sergei Demedyuk also named a specific hacking group known as UNC 1151. He said it all happened to cover up even more destructive actions, though he did not specify what he meant. Responsive statements were made in Russia as well. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the allegations absurd. His assessment also contained some humor. He said that everything in Ukraine is blamed on Russia, including bad weather. I will not say anything about bad weather, but blaming a cyber attack probably serves a purpose. There can be numerous goals. According to one of the versions, speculation about the attack may be a preparation for the disappearance of certain information from the Ukrainian website by the Ukrainian side itself. Clearly, disclosure of information that is unacceptable to the current Ukrainian authorities. In any case, the fact that they point the finger at Russia and Belarus without appeal is questionable.

What processes are taking place between Russia and Ukraine today and how does all this affect Georgia, which is considered by the West and, above all, the United States with Ukraine in a geopolitical context?

Human rights activist Dimitri Lortkipanidze talks about this issue to Georgia and the world.

– Mr. Dimitri, lately we have been hearing more and more statements from the United States and Ukraine that Russia is going to invade Ukraine; There is talk of provocations as well, but the Russian side calls all this absurd and says that they themselves are preparing for provocations and creating an information base in advance. What processes are actually going on and how does all this affect Georgia?

– It is a very complex, difficult issue and requires a multifaceted explanation. Let’s start with the end of the January 10-12 diplomatic triathlon, as it was called in the West, between Russia and the United States. If we follow the ongoing processes well, we will see that collective Western diplomacy has suffered a serious failure.

– What do you mean?

– I mean, in 2022, they came across a completely different kind of Russian diplomacy, the practice of which has not been used before, if we do not take into account 2007, when the Russian Federation, with its president, clearly stated that the issue of further NATO enlargement in 1997 as promised , should be stopped. The failure of Western diplomacy lies in the fact that in the January 10-12 talks, Russia explained with iron arguments why the enlargement of the alliance should be ruled out, why it puts its security in question, and why they should reverse the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit. By the way, Russia’s first diplomat Sergei Lavrov has publicly stated that this is the last drop in the bowl of patience. They had long been preparing to finally issue this harsh ultimatum to the West, while the West found itself in a deadlock because Russia was not changing its promise. As for the security of Russia, whose questioning is conditioned by its ultimatum to the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance, whether it is anyone or not, the Kremlin considers the post-Soviet space as its red line. Consequently, in this space it will certainly never allow the deployment of weapons of mass destruction by the Alliance. I repeat, this is an objective fact that can not be changed and can not be changed, so any talk that Ukraine and Georgia, as sovereign states, decide for themselves where to go and in which bloc will unite is pure water demagoguery and nothing else.

Now let’s talk about what the Western speculation is that Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine. Russia will go to an open confrontation with Ukraine only in one case: if, I repeat, its strategic interests, implied security, will face a real threat. Behold, these provocations are being carried out there by the West today, and, of course, the statements about a possible invasion are an attempt to create some excuse in advance. An excuse to make statements from high tribunes – „We were saying this from the beginning“.

–  Can statements about a cyber attack also be speculation?

– Decades of practice show that everything is used for speculation, all the ways and means used by the West, especially the United States. There is a serious basis for the version that the cyber-attack was organized by the Ukrainians themselves, in order, on the one hand, to erase the traces of their dark deeds and, on the other hand, to use it in the information war against Russia.

Let us return to the absolutely logical and objective ultimatum that Russia is issuing to the leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance today. First, and most importantly, Russia issues an ultimatum on a political basis that accuses the West of violating the terms. Second, for example, the United States, since the 19th century, in line with the Monroe Doctrine, has red lines that cover the security of the Western Hemisphere. By the way, this Monroe Doctrine was actively used in the 60s, during the presidency of John F. Kennedy and then during the presidency of Reagan, that is, the United States, in fact, drew the whole hemisphere for its own security and did not allow the influence of Eastern countries, but its ally. Europe too. A simple question arises – if the Monroe Doctrine has a superpower in the United States, why can’t such a superpower, Russia, which is the successor to the Soviet Union and a member of the UN Security Council, have its red lines ?! This is how Russian diplomacy raises the issue today and, of course, this is an absolutely fair approach. As for Ukraine again, Ukraine will neither be accepted nor will be accepted into NATO, so Ukrainians should understand that any statement about their imminent accession to the Alliance is a mere deliberate provocation that brings nothing to Ukraine except that it further confronts Russia and even more. Further away from the possibility of conflict resolution.

– How do these processes affect Georgia?

–  The first and foremost thing to say and note when discussing this issue with a real political message is that our strategic interests, like those of Ukraine, are not seen as a starting point by the West. For them, we are a political tool of a certain importance and weight, a consumable against Russia, which is used in such a way that the issue is not even to our detriment. The events of 2008 were a clear example of this, but for Ukraine, unfortunately, it did not turn out to be a lesson.

As for the question of how the current processes affect us, I am sure of one thing that the result will be inversely proportional to the policies pursued by us. If Georgia, with its blind-oriented approach, leads the case once again to the epicenter of a conflict of interest between geopolitical vectors, which can be conventionally called meat-packing, the damage will certainly be appropriate; And if everything is fundamentally reviewed, the existing challenges are adequately assessed and the policy, foreign or domestic, is determined in accordance with the Georgian state interests, obviously, these threats will be more or less avoided. However, of course, this, first of all, requires intellectual resources, political will and a political core with this will, the lack of which, unfortunately, is clearly felt in our reality today.

Interviewed by Jaba Zhvania 


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