Russian-Baltic relations solid but shaky

  • 2008-08-12
  • In cooperation with BNS

Sign from Aug. 11 protest in Riga

RIGA- Russian Ambassador to LatviaAlexander Veshnyakov does not think that the Latvian-Russian relations havedeteriorated, but their future depends on Latvian politicians.

"We have all the chances to keep up the relations and implementeverything that has been planned for this year. We, politicians, understandthat our nation should not suffer," the ambassador said.

He also voiced hopes that Latvia'sdecisions to support Georgia,which "have been based on the principle of solidarity than on objectiveinformation", will not leave a negative impact on the relations between bothcountries, on which Russiahas worked so hard.

Veshnyakov said that only now Georgia'sreal goals for joining NATO are clear.

"There is hardly anybody to believe now that Georgiawishes to strengthen Euro-Atlantic values and democracy. I hope that ourwestern partners have now noticed Georgia'sdemocracy," said the ambassador.

Veshnyakov said that he has received information about a meeting, which isbeing prepared in Georgia,to announce the victory of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The diplomatvoiced hopes that it might not be true and Georgiadoes not aim to turn Russiaagainst the western countries.

He said that Russia'saim has not been to overthrow Georgia'sgovernment, but he admitted that Russiaearlier said that cooperation would have been better with another head of thestate.

The ambassador appreciated Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis' visit to Georgia,but only if he obtains comprehensive information, not just the opinion of oneside.

Veshnyakov also said that his personal opinion is that an internationaltribune should be set up to punish Georgiafor its actions. "Responsibility should be taken for such rubbish,"he said.

Russian schools and universities are getting ready to receive refugees from Ossetiaand helping victims of the military activities, said the ambassador.

Georgia hasbeen engaged in armed hostilities with Russiasince last Friday when it sent its troops into its breakaway region of South Ossetia, which unilaterally declared independence from Georgiain 1990, albeit unrecognized by any nation.