Would Saakashvili's Billionaire Challenger Keep Georgia on the Path to NATO?
The arrival of reclusive billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili on to Georgia's political scene is big news among Tbilisi's pundits, but it's also sparking some curiosity in foreign capitals, as well. Would be continue the same pro-Western, NATO-oriented foreign policy as the current government. To what extent is that orientation dependent on one man, the current president Mikheil Saakashvili?
His public statements thus far give some clue. He suggests a pro-Western orientation but a less hostile attitude toward Russia.
In one public letter, he refers to accusations that he is pro-Russia, as opposed to the pro-Western Saakashvili, but frames it in terms of politics, not foreign policy:
Quite recently Ia Antadze described me without any arguments as a pro-Russian force, and Saakashvili – as an apologetic of pro-western liberal values.
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