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Six years after the August War

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 8
Six years have passed since the August War in 2008, through which 20% of Georgian territories are being occupied by Russians. Georgia received thousands of refugees after the war, damaged infrastructure, burnt regions and loads of problems that are still unresolved. Georgian officials claim that despite the fact our territories are being occupied, Georgia is still facing threats from Russia concerning a repeated aggression.

The current statements made by Georgian officials reveal that despite the various positive steps being made by the new government of Georgia, Russia is following the older path by provoking the Georgian side, detaining civilians and making barbed-wires.

State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Paata Zakareishvili still ensures that the war could have been avoided, and that the previous government was trapped by the Russians.

This is not the opinion shared by former officials, who stress that Russia had masterminded and beforehand elaborated a plan on how to occupy Georgian territories. They point to the recent developments in Ukraine as an example.

Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alex Petriashvili, stresses that the recent state policy is based on the type of pragmatic thinking essential for avoiding any possible provocations. However, both the majority and the minority are unanimous that Georgia requires international support and guarantees for that.

Prior to the August War, Georgia’s MAP intentions were rejected. There are many who think that the development encouraged Russia to carry out aggression in Georgia in 2008. We are going to be rejected regarding the NATO Membership Action Plan this year as well. NATO intends to give us a substantive package of collaboration instead.

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress, provided major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The congress said the act was adopted in order to prevent further Russian aggression towards Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia.

On August 7, 2007, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron made a plea to NATO to support its allies, including Georgia, and assist the countries to strengthen their own security systems.

"In Wales [at the NATO Summit in September] I would like us to agree on new defence capacity building missions to other parts of the world, for example in Georgia or the Middle East,” Cameron said in his letter.

He believed NATO needed to rethink its long-term relationship with Russia and strengthen NATO’s ability to quickly respond to any threat.