In 2021, the pandemic killed hundreds of people, as well as the economy and politics of our country. . . The two self-government elections and the return of Mikheil Saakashvili have confused the government, confusing them so that they have no other topic to talk about and nothing to do. What was 2021 like, what was good and what was bad – Doctor of Political Science, Professor Tamar Kiknadze and head of the Eurasia Institute Gulbaat Rtskhiladze talk about these and other important topics.
„In 2021, the society took a smart position and did not fall into the trap of the Nationals. Everyone understood that another riot and the return of the Nationals to power would be a catastrophe“
Tamar Kiknadze, Doctor of Political Science, Professor:
– 2021 was a difficult year for our country as self-government elections took place and cataclysms developed. The destructive opposition tried to take advantage of this and return to power by force.
It must be said in favor of the Georgian people, that in 2021 it was the society that took a smart position and did not fall into the trap of the Nationals. Everyone realized that another riot and the return of the Nationals to power would be a disaster. People bitterly remember the nine years we spent under the rule of the Nationals, thank you to our people for that!
It has not changed this year that the Nationals, who were going to mess up the whole country and probably promise again, are taking everyone’s interest into account, except their own country. In 2021, we learned that the nationals had handed over part of the Davit Gareja monastery complex to Azerbaijan and had also documented it. . .
Saakashvili’s trial began in 2021 and will probably continue. It is bad that his trials at this stage are only considering the case of “jackets”. They are trying to simplify his crimes, but we know that Saakashvili has committed more crimes than is presented today. The main thing is to accuse ex-president Saakashvili of anti-state actions, which he committed for 9 years.
It is bad that this year the conversation started about reconciliation with the guilty force and, although the president should be the mediator during the confrontation, in this case talking about reconciliation is unthinkable because one object of reconciliation is crime. This year, it was very important to put an end to the issue of the Nationals once and for all and to evaluate their “Activity” politically.
In general, 2021 was a very difficult year for our country as we lost a lot of people due to the pandemic. . .
– This is about domestic politics. . . What about foreign policy?
– As for foreign policy, the most important thing is that 2021 passed without cataclysms for our country, because even the representatives of external forces were worried about the ongoing processes inside the country, even a little offended. . .
2021 was a difficult year not only for us but for the rest of the world as a new world order is being established and it will continue until it is clear how everything in the world will be redistributed. The international system is anarchic, but the rules still work, and it is very important that these rules are properly formulated; It is very important that these processes do not affect us badly.
The world sees a confrontation between China and America, as well as between the West and Russia, so throughout the year this confrontation has been the leitmotif of the world. Such controversies affect all countries and especially Georgia. Our country depends on how and what the big countries agree on. . .
It was good that the so-called lockdowns were not introduced this year, but I should highlight the negative process of online learning. It is very harmful for young people, because socialization, relationships are important, without it a person can not be formed and, when it is not, it has a negative impact on future generations.
2021 was a normal, no different year. We are used to expecting better, which is not bad, but processes do not develop the way we want. The economic and social situation was and is difficult, but so is the world.
Domestic and foreign policy in Georgia are very interconnected and I would like to see such breakthroughs in all directions, and especially in the world order, so that we Georgians can choose a vector and multipolar policy that will contribute to the socio-economic, cultural and educational development of Georgia.
“2021 has lost our last hope politically, socially and economically. . . Georgia could not use any of the chances it had”
Gulbaat Rtskhiladze, Head of the Eurasia Institute:
-, 2021 was another regressive year, although we have not had a progressive year in the last 30 years. 2021 has dashed our last hope politically, socially and economically. . . Georgia did not use any of the chances it had. The chance was to really change the policy.
The economic policies of the ultra-rightists, which were inherited by this government and gladly accepted, have not changed; The government continued “Bendukidzeism” – The economic policy of savage capitalism established by Bendukidze continues. The country has no plan to set up any production and generally has no development plan. Bendukidze was only in favor of selling and it is the same today – his idea continued without Bendukidze.
The state did not invest in the training of personnel, in the establishment of enterprises with the appropriate profile of trained personnel – they did not do it, they did not even think about it. They did not protect the country’s market Producing local agricultural products is more expensive than importing them from abroad. In this regard, in 2021, the sale of local products was finally buried. In fact, this is exactly what happened, because the pandemic has given countries a very good chance to protect their markets. For countries and peoples, economics is important after health, so many countries have used the pandemic to protect their domestic markets.
We celebrated Georgia’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 1999 with great fanfare, but today this organization has become very weak and has lost its function. States today act in their own interests and not on the recommendations of the World Trade Organization.
Globalist policies have not disappeared, now the World Health Organization is pursuing a globalist policy in a completely different way. In short, the World Trade Organization has weakened and the World Health Organization has strengthened. Many countries benefited from this, the states lost, but were still able to compensate with something. Except for Georgia, everyone saw a solution. The Georgian government is in illusions when it comes to economic growth. The newspaper “Georgia and the World” published a very good letter on this fact with the headline – “Questions to Bidzina Ivanishvili”, in which correct accents were made.
Doctors in our country are constantly talking about new strains, new diseases appear every month, but the state does not provide border protection. Tbilisi is full of tourists. The stick is falling on the population of our country constantly, especially on the non-vaccinated. But, in order to prevent diseases, it is necessary to protect the border, which our government does not do. That too was a problem in 2021.
I no longer want to talk about the fact that the election was barely held, that Misha arrived, because talking, in this case, makes no sense. . .
2021, like its predecessor for three decades, was a year of populism, no different from other years, except for the fact that the Georgian Dream has broken relations with the West. People went crazy on so called patriotic topics, admired and performed miracles on these crazy people on July 5, then “sold” them and arrested these crazy people, about which caused a great fuss today. . .
The constant talk of Saakashvili on the part of the government serves one thing – to put the people of their own country under stress in order to paralyze against the background of fear, then to go to the polls and win. What was happening in 2021 served the interests of the government. Saakashvili has facilitated the propaganda work of the “Dream”.
This year was a great chance to create a new opposition force, which would be focused on the social problems of the people, on true sovereignty, but it did not happen, it was drowning. It is true that now if you ask me who I mean by this, you will answer that no one. Unfortunately, when the party is formed, it is already dealing with the government and law enforcement agencies. Finances appear – parties also appear. . . Eventually we get to the point where this begging country is not doing anything. The actions of the authorities of this country are heartbreaking.
Interviewed by Eka Naskidashvili