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Georgia in between USA and Russia

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, October 15
There is a proverb in Georgia, during a fight between camels a baby camel was damaged,- this is just for fun.

During the current visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Moscow negotiations on global problems should have been conducted. Georgia was one of those problems.

Washington continues to pursue the Obama policy of “resetting” relations with Moscow, but Georgia remains an issue of disagreement between the two countries. Secretary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov both mentioned this. Clinton stated that the US disagrees with Russia over the Georgian issue and will not recognise South Ossetia or Abkhazia as independent. However she also stressed the necessity of continuing to hold dialogue with Russia on other issues where agreement could be achieved.

What can Georgia see in this? The first thing to claim our attention is that Secretary Clinton did not stress upon the efforts on territorial integrity of Georgia, she only stated that the US would not recognise the breakaway regions. The wording used by Mrs. Clinton is not comforting for Georgia. The US will not recognise Abkhazia or South Ossetia, but what then? Nicaragua and Venezuela have already recognised them and there is speculation that some other countries might do the same, being either bribed or blackmailed or otherwise influenced by Russia. Georgia’s main problem is finding how to restore its territorial integrity, so the question remains, how will the US not recognising Abkhazia and South Ossetia facilitate this?. Is the US position just one of maintaining equilibrium rather than opposing Russia, while the latter actively seeks to persuade more and more countries to follow in its footsteps? Meanwhile Moscow continues to build up its military bases on those territories very substantially. In fact both are already becoming military strongholds, not countries or breakaway territories but military camps or bases, with the full military infrastructure and hardware characteristic of these.

Russia has occupied these territories, they remain occupied, Russia does not intend to leave them and, crucially for Georgia, no force in the world will make the Russians step back. This is the reality which should be admitted by Georgia and its Western friends, either in Europe or America. However Georgia should be still grateful for whatever the West and the US do for Tbilisi. Washington’s and Europe’s firm position of not recognising these puppet regimes sends a clear message to the rest of the civilized world that it should not retreat under Russian pressure, and there is still hope that sooner or later these regions will be recovered in a legitimate and peaceful way. However the current Georgian leadership should realise and admit publicly its errors, and acknowledge to the population that the prospects of restoring the territorial integrity of the country are pretty remote at present, rather than feeding the population with unrealistic expectations.

There is yet another issue which we have already touched upon but is repeating itself. With Secretary Clinton’s visit to Moscow just about to going the Russian Federal Security Service, heir to the KGB, has stated that Georgian special services are training and sending terrorists to Chechnya to conduct subversive actions. This statement was made for two audiences: an internal one, in other words it is seeking to convince the Russian people that this is the reason why the law enforcement bodies have not established law and order in the northern Caucasus, and an international one, as the statement is an attempt to discredit Georgia worldwide and stir up public opinion against it. Some local analysts see the threat of possible repeat aggression against Georgia in these words. The Russian Duma had already adopted a law on using Russian forces outside the country which would justify taking any aggressive action against anyone, anywhere, in Russia’s own eyes.

Georgian officials are concerned and have made different comments and suppositions about how the situation might develop from here. The Georgian leadership thinks that Russia should realise that any further aggressive moves against its southern neighbour would cost it dearly, and that the price The Kremlin would have to pay should be spelled out clearly by the USA and Georgia’s Western friends. But at present there is no indication that a specific Russian action will result in a specific, and meaningful, Western reaction. Thus we are still in standby mode, under continuing threat of another “strike of the maniac”. If an individual lived in constant fear of this in their own home, and everyone knew it was happening, wouldn’t the police and welfare agencies do something about it?