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Russia reacts over Georgia’s firm pro-NATO policy

By Tina Tskhovrebadze
Monday, August 7
Russian rhetoric intensifies as US supports more sanctions

The global political tendencies of International Politics enter a new phase. All these global changes cause local effects on the political situation in specific regions.

Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, signed a bill regarding the sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea on August 2, 2017. The document contains all actions that were made with the violation of the International Law by the Russian Federation, among them, cyber attacks on the US, crisis in the Ukraine and occupation of Georgian territories. The law obliges the President to call on Russia to withdraw her troops from Georgia, the Ukraine and Moldova. To let the three countries make their own control over the borders and to stop acting against the elected governments of these countries. For the years of 2018-2019, the US allotted 250 million USD to support countries in Europe and Eurasia that have experienced threats from Russia and have become victims of the Russian aggression and occupation.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the sanctions were tantamount to a ‘full-scale trade war.’

“The hope that our relations with the new American administration would improve is finished,” wrote Medvedev on a Facebook post.

But Russian ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebeznya does not rule out some chances for future cooperation with the USA: “We will not relent on finding ways and means to cooperate with our partners, including the United States,” he said.

At the same time, Moscow has been taking responsive steps on the sanctions and intends to reduce the number of US diplomats in Russia.

In official statements, Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, compares current situation to the period when the Cold War ended. According to him, the question is whether relations are “getting worse or can we maintain some level of stability... and continue to find ways to address areas of mutual interest, and ways in which we can deal with our differences, without those becoming open conflicts,” Tillerson stated.

The upcoming meeting between State Secretary, Rex Tillerson and Minister of the International Affairs of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, will take place in Milan at the end of week. But, before that the Ministry of International Affairs of Russia declares that the ‘pressures and threats’ will not lead Russia to “sacrifice her national interests.’

What is really interesting is what stands behind all this rhetoric? After the US Vice President’s visit to Georgia, de facto Abkhazia will host the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. According to RBC, President Putin is supposed to travel to Abkhazia on August 8, the same date when the Russian-Georgian war started in 2008. As Konstantin Zatulin, Chairman of the CIS Committee in the Russian Duma, explains Putin’s visit will confirm the responsibilities that Russia has taken over Abkhazia and the South Ossetia. According to him, the main reason to do so is that the US creates motivation for Georgia to join NATO, which raises some questions regarding restoration of Georgian jurisdiction in Abkhazia and the South Ossetia with forceful methods.

“We will not support Georgia’s political will to join the Alliance because of the security interest of the Russian Federation,” states Zatulin. Last week Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, made it clear that Georgia seeks only peaceful ways to solve the conflicts and to stop “creeping occupation” of Georgian territories.

Another threat to Georgian sovereignty is seen in the decision of de facto South Ossetian government to build fire protection zone at the de facto border with Georgia on August 3-18, which shall lead to the fact that more of the Georgian villages shall turn out behind the border line on the occupied territory by Russia.

The Georgian side thinks that with the help of breakaway regions Russian President Putin is demonstrating his power. Georgian Minister for Reconciliation, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, said the upcoming visit of the Russian President to de facto Abkhazia is “an open message from Russia that it continues occupation.”

Nino Kalandadze, representative of Georgian opposition party the “United National Movement,” says that Putin is not going to change his policy regarding the occupied regions of Georgia and will keep the same Geopolitical strategy.

The upcoming period will be very important in the history of international politics and its effects on regional and international levels.