Most of all, George W. Bush must understand that he was the guest of the whole state of Georgia and all of its citizens. The U.S. President was not personally visiting Saakashvili as our President wanted us to believe. Bush knew that there are two poles in Georgia: those of the Saakashvili’s group and the Labor Party members. He has enthusiastically written to me two times. He must admit that Saakashvili has discredited the west values: those of democracy. He has practically become a dictator who directs his country with the aid of a corrupt clan, just as His predecessor Chevardnadze did. When the Tbilissi revolution took place in November 2003, it was us who should have assumed the power according to the election outcome. The Gallup Institute had recognized we had 76% of the votes but then a farce was managed. Today, people have eventually understood the reason why. According to surveys, the president’s fall was dramatic. He admitted to have lost 25% from his original 63%. In fact, he had 14% of the votes while I had 26%. He has not fulfilled any of his promises, the lari (monetary unit) has devalued and that makes retirement pensions remain the same though someone might believe they increased. Everything is on sale and 200 000 people have lost their employments. If those people were not on our side, they already are. The situation has become revolutionary once more. Far from being united the government is composed of groups each defending their own interests. This has led to the assassination of former President Zurab Jvania. Right now, we are trying to join forces with the opposition and get the various groups together, but the situation might soon turn uncontrollable. The presidential elections should have been made in April if Chevardnadze had not left. I had been nominated candidate in October 2003 and that is still valid.
Vladimir Putin did not consult with us and that was not fair. From that point of view, Americans are smarter as they examine different possibilities. That is the reason of their success in the post soviet area. I am saying this as a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy of the USSR Foreign Ministry.
The new power acts in a cruel and amoral way when they do not pay the retirement pension to the former president. But crying over Edward Ambrossievitch (Chevardnadze) is also amoral when his fortune could well feed 100 000 pensioners.

Vremya Novostyey (Russia)

Американцы и русские ошиблись, поставив на Саакашвили”, by Shalva Natelachvili, Vremya Novostyey, April 13, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.