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Georgia as an aspect of US-Russian relations

By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 6
Today Presidents Obama and Medvedev are meeting in Moscow. Against this background it is of the utmost interest for us to see what role Georgia will play in the process of balancing Russian and US interests. We are not overestimating Georgia’s importance in world politics, but Russia’s aggression against Georgia last year should not be evaluated as a purely bilateral concern. We are sure Russia’s military assault against Georgia remains a challenge to the whole world, international law and the established rules of game.

Russia wants to undermine international stability by introducing its own rules of the game, in which it will play a key role based on ignoring established norms of international conduct. No doubt the US is the only state which can stop any Russian aggression and if the Obama administration gives up Georgia for the sake of other concerns Russia will understand this as a message that it is free to do whatever it wants to do. The repeat attack on Georgia which has been speculated about for quite a time would become inevitable.

In his open letter to Barack Obama former US National Security Advisor Zbigniev Brzezinski gives him certain advice. His major point is that the geopolitical conflict of interest between the USA and Russia should not be ignored, as Putin is attempting to reverse the disintegration of the Soviet Empire. Russia claims it has the right to control Ukraine, and if succeeds in doing this the reestablishment of the Russian Empire will move a step closer and confrontation with central Europe will become a realistic possibility. Moreover by seeking to control Georgia Russia is also attempting to keep the West out of the Caspian Sea area. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan will be under Russian subordination and thus Azerbaijan will also surrender to Moscow.

Brzezinski thinks that during the US-Russia summit the Russian tandem of Putin-Medvedev will be looking for any small signal or message that the USA is scaling down its commitment to Ukraine and Georgia. This they will interpret as a green light to do what they want in Ukraine and mainly Georgia. Brzezinski thinks that the USA should make it clear to Russia that although Georgia and Ukraine’s NATO accession is not yet decided the desire of sovereign states to decide their own fate independently must be respected. It should be clearly explained that the USA will not cease supporting these countries’ attempts to integrate with NATO for as long as these countries desire to do so.

Russia’s general aggressiveness has become quite clear recently. It has challenged democratic international decisions by vetoing the presence of the OSCE and UNOMIG observers in Georgia, thus ignoring international law and order. Russia says it will diminish its nuclear arsenal only if the USA gives up the idea of installing anti-missile systems in Europe. Moscow is also holding large scale military trainings in the Caucasus to coincide with Obama’s visit. All these details create a picture in which Russia is extending its interest in different directions, challenging the world and the USA in particular.

The US has stated that it is not going to bargain with Russia. The Georgian authorities say they think everything will be alright. US Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Tbilisi later this month. Here in Georgia we want to hope that the ‘resetting’ US-Russian relations will not occur at the expense US support for democratically oriented countries in the region.