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Russia continues creeping annexation of Georgia “because they can”

By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Monday, September 11
Donald Jensen has discussed Russian Foreign Policy with the Voice of America

The topic of the occupied territories and the issue of ‘creeping occupation’ represents one of the greatest threats to the sovereignty of Georgia. Especially as the ‘creeping occupation’ continues today, after nine years from Russia-Georgian war. There are different attitudes in the society concerning this issue, but all agree that Georgia alone cannot handle the Russian aggression. In this regard, Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, Donald Jensen, made interesting comments.

In his interview with the Voice of America, Jensen discussed the implementation of 2008 6-point ceasefire plan and “borderization” process in Georgia. He also analyzed Russia’s foreign policy towards its eastern neighbors and the West’s approach to the Kremlin. Talking to the journalist of the Voice of America, Jensen noted that Georgia has no power and no resources to stop ‘creeping occupation’ and make Russia follow a 6-point agreement signed in 2008. Jensen believesthis issue will not be resolved without NATO’s and the US’ participation in the process. Responding to the question of the journalist, if Georgia has the economic or diplomatic means to stop Russia's aggression, Jensen saidin reality this is ‘an issue’ among the US, NATO and Russia and Georgia needs international support to ensure its territorial integrity.

Unlike many analysts who believe that Russia is trying to restore the Soviet Union,Jensen maintains a different view. He believes this is not Russia’s aim. According to him, Russia is simply trying to expand its influence in the region. And the reason of this kind of aggressive foreign policy is a lack of adequate international response, Jensen stresses.

Commenting further on Russia’s goal for territorial expansion, Donald Jensen explains: “they are doing it because they can… above all, because no one is stopping them- why not do it!”

“They are squeezing Georgia. If the Georgian government is seen as unable to protect its own borders – which in many ways is a key determinant of sovereignty – they undermine perception of Georgian sovereignty. Russia is not trying to recreate the Soviet Union. Russia is trying to consolidate its influence around the periphery of the former USSR,” he said. “Abkhazia and South Ossetia are easily exploitable for Russia without any serious expectation of a Western pushback,” Jensen added.