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Will Georgia be on the mind of Obama and Medvedev?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 1
The new US administration wants to reset its relations with Russia, but not at the expense of recognizing any Russian ‘spheres of special interest.’ Moscow however claims that its first such sphere of interest is the South Caucasus, and Georgia in particular. Georgia is desperately trying to escape from imperialistic Russia, and has suffered a lot for making its challenging moves – applying for NATO membership and striving to integrate with Europe.

From our point of view Russia is in a privileged position at the moment. Moscow has managed to force the US to remove its bases from Central Asia, persuaded the Bucharest NATO summit not to grant MAP to Georgia and Ukraine, brutally attacked and occupied the territories of the main US satellite/ally in the South Caucasus, Georgia, and all this while the US is having problems in Iraq, Afghanistan etcetera and is thus not greatly inclined to counter these moves. Today Russia is not just a player but it has become the player – it claims.

Russian political analyst Alexander Goltz has stated that Moscow always gets jealous when the US tries to form its own relations with CIS entities, bypassing the Kremlin. The US military airport in Kyrgyzstan was no threat to Russia whatsoever, particularly as a Russian military base was nearby, but by forcing the US to close it down Moscow showed Washington that everything going on in Central Asia should be coordinated with Moscow and not Bishkek, Tashkent or any other centre, stated Goltz.

This is indeed the Kremlin’s vision. The White House however has made it clear that the improvement of relations between the two countries should not take place at the expense of the strategic interests of other countries, Georgia and Ukraine in particular. The recent statements of Philip Gordon and the earlier ones of Joe Biden in Munich clearly indicate that the US will never acknowledge the concept of ‘Russian spheres of special interest’ in Europe.

Russia does not make open official statements; it has even postponed the adoption of its new National Security Doctrine, presumably until after the Obama-Medvedev summit, when it is clear how the US sees the relations resetting.

It is likely that today’s summit will touch on the Georgian issue as well and maybe this will be the defining issue of the negotiations. Many aspects of the relations between the USA and Russia will become clear when they are considered against the respective countries’ positions on Georgia.