'What next for Georgia' a lecture by our ambassador 2004-2007
Donald MacLaren gave a frank and informative lecture to the Scotland Russia Forum last night. He compared Georgia to Scotland. Same size, rich cultural background, mountains and powerful neighbour. He impressed us with their real wish for democracy, freedom and western alignment. He also made us aware of the manpower they had supplied to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The longing for a free press, judicial independence and other freedoms had, he said, been thwarted by what some would call the egomania of president Saakashvili. Donald blames the EU's ineffective diplomacy for the recent war. All the EU said was, 'We urge restraint on both sides'. He thinks we should have adopted the stronger American diplomatic view. The evening ending with Georgian wine. So good I drank too much. I ended up on the set of a Burke and Hare film. Luckily I awoke alive and alone in my own bed. The Scotland Russia Forum, like the Georgians was a good group of people.
Ref: 'A Little War that Shook the World' by R. D. Asmus Feb 2010
According to the article: 'Ossetia's connection to Scotland' by Tim Whewell,
"Centuries ago, possibly during the great migrations of the Dark Ages, some Ossetians went down from the Caucasus and set sail through the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and arrived eventually in a landscape they recognised: Caledonia. In fact, though, they did not just occupy Scotland. They occupied the whole of Western Europe on their fast horses, spreading the chivalrous respect for women that is originally an Ossetian concept. And how do we know they reached Britain? Easy: place names. England's greatest national hero, King Arthur, was Ossetian too, apparently. His name means "solar fire".
The Ossetians are not just like the medieval Scots. As far as they are concerned, they are the Scots. And the Scots are them."