Go ask the EU and the US, said Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when asked if Georgia should worry about Ukraine-style troubles this summer. “You should ask the EU and the US if they have some plans in mind for the Georgian government if it fails to do what is expected of it,” Lavrov told journalists on May 6.
Georgia is expected to sign an association pact with the European Union this June. Commotion over Ukraine's similar plans contributed to pulling that country into a separatist war. But Moscow squarely puts the blame on the West. “The EU had a near-hysterical reaction to the legitimate decision of the Ukrainian president [Victor Yanukovich] to postpone the agreement,” Lavrov said. “Then, public rallies were organized and the radicals jumped on the bandwagon.”
He passed the buck to Brussels and Washington for any potential similar developments in Georgia after pen meets paper on the EU association agreement. “Not to sound rude, but this question is better put to people there [the EU and US],” Lavrov said. “We do not go around changing regimes and making color revolutions; especially with a brown hue, as is the one in Ukraine,” he added, referring to Russian allegations of the interim Ukrainian government's so-called "fascist" inclinations.
He expressed the hope that Georgia has a sober understanding of current events in the region.
Perhaps to help Tbilisi stay clear-headed on this score, Moscow announced plans to move 80,000 new armored personnel carriers to separatist Abkhazia; like Crimea, another Black-Sea Russian hangout.
Lavrov said, though, that he is not aware of any plans by Abkhazia and fellow breakaway buddy South Ossetia to follow Crimea’s suit and accede to Russia. “Abkhazia and South Ossetia are our partners and we will respect the path they chose,” the minister said.
Tbilisi has shied away from a response, but it cannot ask enough for Western help to provide a secure path to the signing of the association agreement. The EU, which is more keen to move euros than armored vehicles into an ally’s territory, on May 6 announced the handover of 30 million euros [roughly $41.76 million] to Georgia to complement ongoing assistance for Tbilisi’s European plans.