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Georgia in US-Russia relations

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 4
On July 6-7 Moscow will host the Obama-Medvedev summit. There are many prognoses and speculations about this meeting. We are particularly interested in what role Georgia will play in the developing bilateral relations between the USA and Russia. The Georgian issue will certainly be discussed at this meeting.

So far there has been no official comment on the World Net Daily report that as a result of heavy Russian pressure the US has stopped exporting arms to Georgia. Neither Washington nor Tbilisi have officially denied or confirmed this allegation. This could mean that this information is so stupid and untrue it is not worth even commenting on. Or it could mean something else entirely.

Uncertainty always gives birth to fantasy and speculation. For instance, political analyst Irakli Sesiashvili thinks that a certain agreement might have been reached between the US and Russia. Maybe the USA received guarantees from Russia that it would not repeat its attack on Georgia and in return undertook to stop supplying Georgia with arms. This would imply that the USA wants to protect what is left of Georgia without discussing the restoration of its territorial integrity. American political analyst David Smith is more optimistic, as he is sure that the US will demand at the summit that Moscow fulfils the six point Sarkozy-Medvedev ceasefire agreement, the test of how committed Russia is to abiding by international norms. He also points out that Georgia plays very key role in running the East-West corridor and is the best ally for the United States in the region.

These arguments could be reinforced by one more: that the Georgian population expects the US to support it more effectively. After the August Russian invasion the people of Georgia anticipated more active support from the USA. Maybe this hope was too naive but it existed. We cannot help thinking this way.

Now some segments of the Georgian population are deeply frustrated. There is increasing speculation about whether Georgia was correct to take an exclusively pro-Western position. It is said that maybe a policy of balancing interests would have been better. Some politicians have started suggesting that Georgia should be neutral. They are only a small minority at present but there is an idea that as soon as Georgian-Russian relations are regulated things will automatically improve, although the only thing automatic about Russia is that is will always do what you assume it would never dare do.

As Georgia has thrown in its lot with the West, excluding other partners, its future now depends on what its Western allies will do for it. As for Russia, even if it officially states it will not attack Georgia again it will do its best to control the country by different means, for instance by influencing the internal processes in the country. Such attempts are already being made. Different unions of ethnic Georgians residing in other countries, mainly in Russia, have recently become very active, convening different gatherings. A possible Russian-based candidate for the Georgian Presidency has even appeared. Georgia may not want to be in Russia’s orbit, but it would need a lot more backing than it has had so far to extricate itself from its clutches completely.

All this is the realm of speculation. We must of course realise that Georgia is a tiny place and world policy is not made on the basis of such a country. North Korea, the Middle East and the world financial crisis are far more important issues right now. But those who do not have our problems should now that they can never experience our toothache, although it aches severely.