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Western concern versus Russian aggression

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, May 19
The Russian aggression against Georgia has seriously influenced the Georgian public. Many people are now asking, if not out loud then at least to themselves, whether the Western orientation the country took after the collapse of the Soviet Union has done it much good. Thou most of the population still supports a Western orientation the question remains whether it would have been better to stay under Moscow's umbrella and thus insure ourselves against future Russian aggression.

This question remains unanswered and doubts exist. The public is clearly frustrated. People in Georgia are sure that The Kremlin took the decision to punish Georgia precisely because it has a Western orientation and aspires to join the EU and NATO, and when that happened the West abandoned the country and left it face to face with the northern monster. Now the West is ready grant security to Moscow at the expense of sacrificing Georgia, so it would appear from recent statements emerging from the West.

The Georgian leadership still says that even verbal assistance is very important for Georgia. The public however has grown tired of hearing the West's expressions of 'deep concern' whenever Russia commits any small part of its ongoing and large scale aggression against Georgia. International organisations and Western countries have many times expressed this deep concern but The Kremlin ignores them, ignores any resolutions or decisions or statements they make and does what it wants, while those bodies turn a blind eye to Russia’s behaviour.

Georgia’s Permanent Representative at the Council of Europe Zurab Chiaberashvili thinks that diplomacy is one of the most important tools which can be used to deter military aggression. Moscow meanwhile is slowly moving forward, desperately trying to discredit Georgia, its leadership. Moscow is trying to create a general anti-Georgian sentiment in every country, so Georgia and its leadership should first of all protect themselves by making consistent democratically-oriented moves. Changing the country’s vector from the West to the north would be a dramatic and tragic step for the country, as it would make Russia even more confident that it has destroyed Georgia and can make its desired changes in this country by applying force. But it would also be a warning for the West, as the defeat of Georgia would be the defeat of the West, its values, its principles and its democracy, values it is happy to promote in the abstract, to show its moral superiority, but not so keen to defend when they come under practical threat..

Very much depends on the level of democracy under which the forthcoming elections will be conducted, as these will be the test of whether the country is still developing in the Western direction or has descended into Soviet-style autocracy. The West's deep concern should be more directly and consistently targeted at the elections, as conducting fair elections in Georgia will prevent certain forces in the country destablising the situation. Destabilisation will only make it easier for the Russians to conduct repeated aggression, and if this happens the Western concern will be too little, too late.