“We are in a geopolitical stalemate.” – Aleksandr Dugin in The Georgian Times, 14 maart 2007.
A week ago Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, paid a five-day visit to Moscow. The Georgian delegation of high dignitaries took a direct flight to Russia, inspiring hopes in many people that the visit could become a starting point for a long-awaited détente between Georgia and Russia.
However, Russian political circles do not share this optimism—at least, Aleksandr Dugin doesn’t. Dugin, a Russian scholar and founder of the Russian school of geopolitics often known as “Eurasianism,” explained his pessimism to The Georgian Times.
Q: Georgian-Russian relations seem to be improving. How realistic is this impression?
A: Unfortunately, Georgian-Russian relations have been deadlocked. I cannot imagine how the situation can improve in any way. This is not a conflict between people or presidents—this is a conflict between geopolitical choices. This makes the situation between us rather complicated. Brotherly Orthodox Georgian and Russian people find themselves in a situation where the conflict boils down to differences in geopolitical principles.
Q: Do you think the recent meeting between Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II and Patriarch of Russia Alexy II will defuse tensions in any way?
A: Frankly speaking, I do not think it will. No one doubts the friendship of our nations and their spiritual proximity. The Russian Orthodox Church sometimes even runs counter to our geopolitical interests, as it does not support the calls of Tskhinvali region [South Ossetia – Ed.] Orthodox Church for separation from the Georgian patriarchy.
The Church does everything it can on a spiritual level. But there are things that the Church is unable to deal with. This is a geopolitical confrontation. As long as Georgia takes a pro-Atlantic, pro-American position, nothing can change the situation, neither a visit by your Patriarch nor Moscow Patriarchy’s support of Georgia.
He [the Russian Patriarch –Ed.] supports Georgia on every issue, including that of Abkhazia. I think everything is perfect at the church level, but that cannot change anything in geopolitics, and our conflict stems from geopolitics.
Q: The US wants to station its anti-missile radars in Poland and may position defense elements in the Caucasus as well. Georgia in this sense is the most probable home for a radar station. What should Georgia expect from Russia if this is the case?
A: I think we are on the brink of a serious conflict between Russia and the US. This is going to be an open Cold War. If the US deploys its defense system in Georgia, than we will view Georgia as an absolute foe. Then no visits will take place whatsoever and nothing will be able to regulate our relations.
Then situation will change on religious level as well, and Abkhazia will become an eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. Then relations with Georgia will turn into a kind of war and Russia will start deporting all Georgians.
Q: Relations with Russia would not have hit such lows and Tbilisi would not have begun eyeing the US if not for the conflict zones and Moscow’s support of their separatism. Let us just consider the recent ‘elections’ in Abkhazia. No one but Russia recognized them. Cannot Russia take steps that would improve our relations?
A: I think none of the parties can do anything that would improve the situation. I am not saying that it is the fault of Russia or Georgia. But Tbilisi’s decision to choose the US as its partner means the severance of relations between Russia and Georgia. You cannot ask anything from Tbilisi because of this choice.
But why did it happen? Perhaps Russia, too, should be to blame, but this is already a reality. We could have just confined our relations to endless accusations, or we could have made consensus, etc., until Saakashvili made a very sharp, clear orientation in favor of the US.
What else can we talk about, or who are we to talk to after this fact? Despite its great wishes, Russia cannot do anything. What is happening now is the law of geopolitics. It makes no sense to talk about who is wrong and who is right, what mistakes Russia has made or what we should have done. We are in a geopolitical stalemate.
Bron: The Georgian Times