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Russian military bases in Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 4
Now it has become evident why Russia attacked Georgia in August 2008 and recognized the breakaway puppet regimes in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. Moscow’s goal was to build up its military presence in the South Caucasus.

The Kremlin does not seek to disguise its plans. It is hastily building multipurpose and multifunctional military bases, including airfields, ports and all the necessary infrastructure, in both regions, particularly Abkhazia.

Georgians are scared. Westerners express their deep concern, but Russia cannot be frightened off by this alone. Serious steps should be taken to stop Russia further increasing its level of aggression against Georgia and the whole region.

At the Istanbul summit of 1999 Russia took a commitment to remove its military bases from Georgia. However it did its best to delay the process, eventually agreeing to withdraw only by the end of 2008. Perhaps Moscow’s wicked plan to attack its Southern neighbour was born then?

Russia does not want peace in the South Caucasus. When its countries are confronting each other Moscow can always manipulate the situation and benefit from the bloodshed. Neither peace nor war is the most acceptable formula for The Kremlin. It seeks continual aggravation of the situation. Recently Russia sold a large amount of arms and ammunition to Armenia, which caused indignation and concern in Azerbaijan. In 2006 Moscow withdrew from Conventional Arms Limitation Treaty in Europe, which specified that Russia could not deploy more than 1,700 tanks in the Caucasus. Even being allowed to use such an impressive number did not satisfy the appetite of the Northern Bear. For some reason it needs even more such offensive arms. It does not want the demilitarization of the region. It is made happy by the suffering of people.

Russia has not fulfilled the terms of the Sarkozy-brokered peace plan and has not returned its forces to their prewar locations. Rather the contrary. It has signed bilateral treaties with the puppet regimes and is introducing more and more troops there. European structures at different levels condemn and criticize these Russian plans to enlarge its military presence in the region still further and so does the USA. But it makes no difference.

Georgian military analysts don’t exclude the possibility of a repeat attack on Georgia which Russia could launch at any moment. It can provoke clashes and use them to justify its actions whenever it wants. When Russian serviceman Sergeant Glukhov abandoned his post and deserted to Georgia Moscow said he had been kidnapped and expressed its readiness to rescue its citizen, who by the way does not want to go back. This was one such threat of further military intervention, though carefully disguised as an appeal to a natural justice Russia itself is the biggest violator of.

However the biggest concern still remains the deployment of Russian bases on Georgian territory. This could not only cause problems for Georgia but undermine European attempts to construct alternative energy supply routes. It is standard practice for countries to use military muscle to defend their economic interests, as the building of several empires testifies. But in most cases you have to have some right to be in a country to do it.