The President of Georgia gave an interview to Al Jazeera

A well known journalist of Al Jazeera – David Frost, invited the President of Georgia to the show in the name of the 10th anniversary of the fight against terrorism during his visit to New York. During the interview, David Frost mainly expressed interest in the Georgian-Russian relations and the democratic development of Georgia. A US Senator – John McCain and a former US Secretary of Defense – Donald Rumsfeld also participated in the show.

David Frost: While I was in New York at the UN we met up again with Mikheil Saakashvili - The colorful, turbulent in fact President of Georgia. A Thorn in the flash of Russia and a thorn in the flash of anyone really who annoys him.

David Frost: It’s a great joy to have you with us again.

Mikheil Saakashvili: It is always great for me.

David Frost: How things going in the love relationship with Russia?

Mikheil Saakashvili: There are two levels of this relationship. On the one hand, the Russian government does not recognize our borders, doesn’t recognize our government, doesn’t recognize the Ceasefire Agreement, they themselves brokered. They’ve been very violent. Yesterday there was a thing published how President Sarkozy described Putin yelling at him for like half an hour how much he wanted to hang me. This is one level of relationship when we have 20% of our territory occupied. We have almost half a million people not able to go back to their homes because the Russian leadership decided that’s no longer their houses. Just like that.

But on the other hand, there’s a fascination here, because lots of Russians are coming to Georgia. We have hundreds of thousands coming this year. We have actually made visa free travel for southern regions of Russia unilaterally. It’s almost impossible for Georgians to get to Russia.  But Russians can come to Georgia, most of them without visa. And actually what happens is you look at that very carefully, at what Moscow elite says and the Russian bloggers.  And how they are excited when they come into the country which was dead just a few years ago, and suddenly it’s looking, despite the fact that we don’t have oil and natural gas like they have it’s looking way better. I was in Poland a few days ago, and there was this Russian professor. He told me: these days we admire you like we used to admire America and West Germany during the Cold War times. I told him: If we replace America and Germany you should really be in trouble. That’s a genuine feeling of many Russians today.

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