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Russia ousts UNOMIG from Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 18
By vetoing the UN resolution Russia has ousted the United Nations Observers Mission in Georgia as it ousted the OSCE observer mission covering South Ossetia some weeks ago. If anyone anywhere in the world had the slightest illusion that Russia had democratic and peaceful intentions in the Georgian territory it has occupied these should now have vanished. If for many years, at least formally, Russia had managed to hide its aggressive politics behind the mask of ‘peacekeeping’, it let that mask slip in August 2008 and by vetoing the UN Mandate has now shown its true face in glorious technicolour.

One again it is proven that the United Nations should not have compromises in the early 90s by turning a blind eye to Russia’s participation in mediation and peacekeeping efforts when it was a participant in the conflict it was supposed to be mediating. Russia needed this time and mandate to consolidate its position while carrying out a series of subversive activities such as distributing Russian passports, deploying ever more military personnel, arms and ammunition on Georgian territory and creating and maintaining a pro-Russian political infrastructure. This is was always the Russian plan, and as soon as it had built up its resources it launched a full scale attack from the occupied Georgian territories and recognised separate regimes there.

All this was done with the silent ‘consent’ of the UN leadership. This organisation could not or did not see what was going on under its nose. The Georgian leadership, officials and political analysts sent alarm signals to the UN many times, sometimes in the form of direct statements, sometimes hints, sometimes scholarly analysis but nothing Georgia presented was given due attention. Maybe now such respected international organisations as the UN, OSCE, EU, NATO etc will at least pay appropriate attention to Russia’s conduct and put pressure on it in all directions so that the monster loses his appetite.

There is a world map in front of me, and I see the Russian empire on it, huge, clumsy and domineering. I can hardly see Georgia. Russia’s main policy goal now is to obtain international recognition of, and justification for, its crime. It wants to legalize its occupation of the territories of Georgia now stuck with the Russian armed forces. To achieve this it has methodically run through the playbook of diplomatic black arts, using tactics such as blackmail and bribery but everywhere targeting its essential goal, which is to force the world to accept new realities, new rules of the game and ultimately new leadership. As in the good old Soviet tradition Russian diplomacy and foreign policy are based on browbeating and designed to achieve beneficial results only for Russia. Every single time it violates an agreement or threatens another country, slowly but surely Moscow receives some benefit from it.

How can little Georgia resist Moscow? Only by trying to maintain its principles. “We tried to maintain the mission but this could not be done without it being at the expense of the primary principle, our territorial integrity,” stated President Saakashvili. Only international support, not just for Georgia but for the principles of justice and the values acknowledged by the rest of the international community can save both Georgia and the world.

The permanent members of the UN Security Council, France, the UK and USA, supported by non-permanent members Austria, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Japan, Mexico and Turkey, supported the extension of the UN observers’ mandate in Georgia. Russia voted against the resolution while Vietnam, China, Libya and Uganda abstained. As Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, its sole dissenting vote was always going to be enough to kill the proposal and the mission, a situation most countries would not wish to put themselves in, but Russia seems to relish, as it has shown by its unilateral recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and any other recent and not-so-recent acts.

Now Georgia is left face to face with the northern bear, which is aggressive and feels it has immunity and can do whatever it wants. The territories it has occupied and its ethnic cleansing, abuses of human rights, abuses of property rights, genocide, all its crimes are there. The prospect of a further attack on Georgia has become even more dangerous and realistic. Russia has blocked everything, the OSCE and UNOMIG missions and whatever else it can. What option is left for Georgia? All it can do is ask the international community to demand that Russia fulfils every point of the Sarkozy-Medvedev six point agreement and ask the US President to be more consistent in his relations with his Russian counterpart. Unless this is done Georgia is doomed to become the first victim of Russia’s new imperialism, but it will not be the last.

There are some diseases which cannot be treated without an operation, No pills will cure them, you have to cut the cancer out. This can be painful but it is the only way to save the whole organism and keep it safe and sound. Provided, of course, you catch it in time. If the world does not stop Russia then Russia will stop the world.