Bendukidze: Will they erect my monument in Georgia? Why should I worry about it and think of my obituary
Photo: : profi-forex.org
Kakha Bendukidze called the Ukrainian parliament insane, worried because of the populism of the Ukrainian power. The ex-president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili reported after Bendukidze's death that there was to be a meeting in Kiev at the end of this week at which it was planned to discuss details of his appointment to one of positions in the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers. Politicians declared that they are ready to persuade the ideologist of the Georgian reforms to obtain Ukrainian citizenship and become part of the new government. All these plans will not be carried out any more. But the saved-up life and professional experience of Kakha Bendukidze remains in his interviews, comments and quotes.
About business in the 90s
- In the mid-eighties my salary made 85 roubles. I was a senior laboratory assistant. Of course, I earned badly. It so happened that a senior laboratory assistant was a lowest creature. But when I became head of the laboratory, I already received 280.
- I started business in a not really successful way. Because there were the same people as me, scientists, all around and for a few months we were engaged in generally theoretical discussions on the subject, "How can one earn money?" And business is like a reform: you should do it. And we only discussed, discussed, discussed...
- I remember our first million. My partner had a dream: he wanted to put this million on the table and see how it looks. Therefore, when we earned it, he brought it, put it on the table, and all of us were standing around and looking at one million roubles. Feelings? I do not even know. I did not understand why he wanted it so much.
- Daily engagement in business and daily engagement in science are hardly compatible.
- Of course, racket came to us. I think, people who will tell that they lived at the beginning of the 90s allegedly playing the violin in the Bolshoi Theater will lie. We had to be protected in different ways, and there was nothing pleasant in them.
- Yes, I had hundreds of millions. Though it depends on how we count. It does not lie in bags. It is in the form of assets that move and cannot even be defined specifically.
- The wife constantly kept asking me, "What do you do at work?" "Well how to explain," I kept thinking, "I wave hands." She asks, "What do you mean?" "Well, I sit down in a chair, people come, I tell something and I wave hands". Well, I wave hands for 13 hours, then I come home.
- No, I am not an oligarch. An oligarch is the one who has the power. I am a wealthy man. To what extent? I can not work for the rest of my life.
- What occurred in Russia was not pleasant to me. Especially when they arrested Khodorkovsky.
- I was at the meeting where Putin argued with Khodorkovsky. I was taken aback a little bit because I did not expect such rigid reaction from Putin.
- The problem is that the Russian people are, unfortunately, one of the most tragic people because it destroys itself with its own hands. It did not overcome the empire in itself.
- Medvedev, of course, is gentler than Putin. But it is unpleasant to deal with him – he is very indecisive, he is difficult to speak to.
- De facto, Chechnya is not part of Russia. Neither the Russian Constitution, nor the Russian concepts work there. Putin's portraits hanging there make no difference.
About the Georgian reforms
- When they start telling me – in whatever country – that businessmen are wrong because they do not understand how something is done, I always feel that it is bad there. It is impossible that there are clever people in the government, and silly people in business. It is impossible because there are a lot of people in business: there can be silly and clever ones among them. And there are few people in the government, and, as a rule, there are a lot of silly ones among them.
- When I was offered a position in the Georgian government, I thought, "Well, it is only once in life, truly! Well, I will become a minister".
- If we speak about education, I can tell you that some key Georgian reformers did not have Western education. Someone had Georgian, someone had Russian one. Western education does not guarantee anything. Yes, it is important in a sense that the person opened and changed his mind. But they can teach nonsense in America, too, you will have to beat it out for years.
- I consider that reforms should not be postponed. They should be done immediately because then it will be more difficult to implement them.
- Once I was invited to a Central Asian republic to give advice concerning reforms. And the Prime Minister tells me, "I know precisely that we have two budgets. One is their budget, and the other is brought by Americans by plane".
- Did I understand what was to be dome to raise the economy of Georgia when I came to the government? Of course! It is simple. It is so simple that people do not believe in it and the answer is that people should be given freedom.
- Ideally steady universal reforms do not exist. With the coming of the new power in Georgia, there are things where it is possible to say that yes, stability remained. For example, police.
About reforms in Ukraine
- Your situation is worse, than we had. You have a question of the existence of the country now. We had such a question in the early nineties, but not at the beginning of the 2000s.
- I am not Poroshenko's adviser as a myth says. Yes, I am an adviser in the Ukrainian government, but not the president’s one.
- Simplicity of reforming a country is not connected with its size. A big country has its advantages in the sense of economic development. For example, it is senseless to come on the Georgian market only because you want to be present there, because the Georgian market is 4.5 million people, it is 10 times less than Ukrainian. And it is uninteresting. The Georgian market is interesting only along with other markets. And the Ukrainian market is attractive in itself – it is big.
- Ukraine as a place for investment is more interesting than Georgia. It is in the heart of Europe. You have a huge advantage in this sense.
- Ukraine can potentially replace China for Europe. I was told it once, and then I decided to count it myself. We understand that a huge stream of goods is delivered to Europe from China. Ukraine is technically able to replace about half of it.
- 20 years ago, Poland was slightly less developed than Ukraine. And Ukraine was slightly richer. Today the situation is absolutely different. It is indecent to compare Ukraine and Poland. You need 30 years of active growth to catch up with Poland.
- Ask whether Ukraine has relation to Europe, is the same as asking whether Jews have relation to Israel. How Jews are related to Israel, Ukraine is related to Europe. It is its home.
- If we understand by "the Marshall’s plan" for Ukraine that we will do bureaucracy and nothing more here, and the Europeans will work instead of us, such "Marshall's plan" does not and cannot exist. In this sense, Ukraine is too big to be nursed by someone.
About war in Ukraine
- Ukraine is the main place on the planet Earth now. The destiny of the future world order is decided here. And it is not a Georgian toast, it is a fact.
- All of us will live during the post-Crimean era. But what it will be like is becoming clear today, tomorrow, in a month or in a year.
- Perhaps, it sounds strange, but it is impossible to reduce a problem to Putin only and consider that he is a fiend, and angels in white tunics are sitting around and waving their wings, and he somehow disturbs them. This problem is deeper. Sorry, did you get the fleet in Sevastopol under Putin?
- I do not love fat people at all. It is a delusion that all fat people are kind. One my acquaintance, a clever elderly man said, "There is the same amount of shit in each person. It is simply splashed out in thin ones."
- Will they ever erect my monument in Georgia? Of course! What monument? What are you talking about? What for? And the main thing is why should I worry about it and think of the obituary.