By Interfax, translated and published in Russia Beyond the Headlines, Dec. 24, 2014
Over a half of Georgians polled by the Eurasian Institute have opposed the involvement of Georgian military contingents in NATO and U.S. operations and possible deployment of U.S. military bases on Georgian territory. Barely on speaking terms: A rough road ahead for Russia and NATO
Eurasian Institute head Gulbaat Rtskhiladze told a press briefing in Tbilisi that they had polled 1,718 people. “Sixty-two percent of respondents objected to the participation of Georgian military contingents in NATO and U.S. operations and 55 percent said they were against the possible deployment of U.S. bases on the Georgian territory,” he said.
“For methodological considerations, we have avoided the areas populated by ethnic minorities, predominantly Azeri Kvemo Kartli and predominantly Armenian Javakheti. We mostly polled ethnic Georgians,” Rtskhiladze said.
The institute polled 482 respondents in Tbilisi, 262 in Gori, 296 in Batumi, 151 in Zugdidi, 100 in villages of the Zugdidi district, 48 in the Mtskheta district, 73 in the Dusheti district, 160 in the Sagaredzho, and 146 displaced persons from the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone who live in the Mtskheta district.
“If anyone has doubts and our arguments do not look convincing, we would recommend these organizations to carry out a joint poll regarding the same issue,” Rtskhiladze said.
* NATO’s ongoing efforts to drag Georgia into its political and military umbrella. NATO report here.
* Statement by an official in the Georgian Ministry of Defense criticizing those Georgians who are joining the Ukrainian militias waging civil war in eastern Ukraine. The ministry later retracted the statement. Reports here, in Civil Georgia.
* Brief interview (subtitled) on the current state of relations between Russia and Georgia, with Gulbaat Rtskhiladze, director of the Eurasian Institute in Georgia, on Dec. 1, 2014. Here.
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