The messenger logo

Poti Russia’s new frontline against NATO

By M. Alkhazashvili
Tuesday, August 26
Russia is an aggressor against Georgia, no doubt about it. Now it is aiming its provocations at NATO also. It has decided to “protect its citizens” outside the conflict zone not only in the so-called buffer zones but in the city of Poti, among other places. Here they are claiming the right to control humanitarian aid shipments which are entering Poti on NATO ships.

Several warships from NATO countries have entered the Black Sea. This irritates the Russians. According to Anatoly Nogovitsyn, spokesperson for the Russian Army, their presence could aggravate the situation in the Black Sea. Said Nogovitsyn: “Poti is not within the security zone, but this does not mean that we shall sit behind the fence and watch them driving up and down in their Hummers.” This phrase alone is testament to the General’s inferiority complex and it is possible that the whole Russian ideology is based on this inferiority.

An old joke runs: during the first days of the Bolshevik Revolution an aristocratic Russian lady asks her maid what the fuss in the streets outside is about? The maid replies that it is a revolution. “What do they want?” The aristocrat asks. The maid says that they are fighting against wealth. “How strange,” replies the lady, “We always fought against poverty.” Moscow cannot stand having a successful state next to it. One way or another the Russians are not only coming but are already here and don’t intend to move.

The Russian General challenges NATO because he has already defeated Georgia. As soon as NATO suspended its cooperation with Russia the Kremlin began slamming the doors of Russia in the face of the alliance. Moscow does not believe in diplomatic relations – either you accept its lies or it threatens to retaliate vigorously. So far no international organization has taken any measures or sanctions against Russia and this just encourages it. They are all scared of us, thinks the Kremlin.

Nogovitsyn’s words, the Russian Foreign Minister’s statements and the Medvedev-Putin position prove that Russia is confident that it can carry on with its aggression and nobody can stop it.

By preserving its illegal checkpoints in Poti, Moscow not only challenges NATO but also undermines the development of Georgia’s economy. Poti has been designated by Georgia as the site of a Free Industrial Zone. The Russians know this. Once again, they fight against wealth.

Both NATO and the USA have stated that they intend to assist Georgia in rebuilding its military infrastructure. This is not a big secret, as NATO’s envoy to Georgia Robert Simmons has announced it to the world. This assistance can be delivered through Batumi, by air, or via NATO member country Turkey. A couple of dozen Russian soldiers digging trenches in Poti will not stop this happening. So what the hell do they want? They fight against success and progress and prosperity and wealth as during the Bolshevik Revolution.

Georgians hope that Russian aggression against their country has shown everyone the results of the refusal to grant a MAP to Georgia at the Bucharest Summit. It looks at least as if NATO members will now accelerate Georgia’s accession to membership. But this is not enough, as the West itself will soon discover if matters are left as they are.

In his analysis during a meeting with the Parliament Bureau Saakashvili drew attention to the fact that he had warned Western leaders about imminent Russian aggression but was not listened to. Moscow has proved it can act brutally when it chooses to, and even then take further provocative steps. Don’t just stand there, do something. Impose serious sanctions against the world’s chief mischief-maker before it does it again.