The messenger logo

American private intelligence firm predicts increased Russian pressure on Georgia

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Thursday, January 17
Russia will try to increase its influence over former Soviet republics in 2008 with a focus on Georgia, Ukraine and the Central Asian states, according to an annual forecast published by private American analysis agency Stratfor.

The report says that in 2008 Russia is in the strongest geopolitical position it has been since the end of the Cold War, with new weapons systems going into operation, an influx of petrodollars and a popular government, according to the news agency RIA Novosti. Meanwhile, with military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, US power is at a relative low.

However, the report says this power difference is a “temporary circumstance” that Russia will want to exploit, perhaps by staging a “clash” that “starkly lays bare Russia’s strengths against Western weaknesses.”

One possible scenario, according to the agency, would involve Georgia’s secessionist republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “Russia could easily absorb them outright and thus break the myth that American protection in the Caucasus is sustainable,” the report reads, according to RIA Novosti.