|Happy V-Day, Everyone (Except Georgia)! XOXO, Dima|
|May 09, 2011|
By Giorgi Lomsadze
May 9 is a post-Soviet family holiday. And, with that in mind, Russian President Dmitri ("Dima") Medvedev  did not forget today to send out greeting cards to the heads of state of all of Russia’s World-War-II-era cousins (minus the black sheep, Georgia) to congratulate them on the 66th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
He also had a few words of advice.
“Our duty is to prevent any attempts to rewrite history and foster in the young generation the sense of patriotism and pride for our common history,” Medvedev wrote to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, who was commended for resisting attempts to “reassess the outcome of World War II.”
Azerbaijan indeed celebrated May 9 in a traditional way. But its neighbor and sworn enemy Armenia chose to focus on Armenian soldiers' and Karabakhi separatists' May 8-9, 1991 seizure of the town of Shusha  from Azerbaijan in the war over the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh.
Matters went much further afield in Georgia. Just as Medvedev feared, many Georgians are busy reconsidering the May 9 observance.
Staying true to his vow to never-ever-speak-to-Saakashvili-again, the Russian leader passed on his good wishes to the Georgian people, but not to their president. Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze's response was succinct: “There are many ways to be a clown," he observed.
Rather than May 9 (a holiday set up in 1965 under Leonid Brezhnev), Vashadze contends that Georgia should celebrate victory over Nazi Germany on May 8 -- as does "all the rest of the civilized world" ( meaning Europe), agreed ex-Education Minister Gia Nodia in an interview.
To set off in that direction, rather than watching a parade of military hardware, Tbilisi today is marking "Europe Day."  The date commemorates the 60th anniversary of the proposal for the French-German industrial organization that was a foundation for the European Union.
Somebody throw a party.
2010 © Eurasianet
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