Financial Times Deutschland, Germany
Before Georgia -
It is Europe that Needs Mediation
"There is more going on here
than just differing interpretations of history. Europe wants to mediate, but
it's so divided itself, that it too, requires mediation. … This war sends a
very clear signal that together with the United States, it's high time to
restrict Russia's sphere of influence. However, not all want to hear that
Translated By Julian Jacob
August 14, 2008
- Financial Times Deutschland - Original Article (German)
Of all the images from the
Georgia conflict zone, there is one that speaks particularly clearly. One of
the demonstrators in Tbilisi is holding a poster showing Russia's Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin, with a threatening extended index finger. And there
are dates: Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Afghanistan 1979 - and Georgia
2008 [see below].
Historical analogies such as
these of course serve to propagate the Georgian side of things. But what is
critical is that here at least, those dates are understood by everyone and concern
most people in East and Central Europe. Over there [in East Europe] at least
since Putin, Russia is seen as a potential aggressor, and the Soviet tradition
continues almost unabated. The Presidents of Poland, Ukraine and the three
Baltic states, which on Wednesday met in Tbilisi, would have little to quibble
with about that poster
Poster depicts Vladimir Putin as a Red Army soldier during a
in Tbilisi, Aug. 15. Europeans all agree with the meaning of
poster, but not on what to do about it.
Politicians in France, Italy
and Germany, however, have little sympathy for this view, which they usually
associate with historical oversensitivity. In Central Europe, the fact that
under Putin, a newly aggressive Russia which lusts for its former status as a
great power, is gladly ignored .
EUROPE ITSELF IS IN NEED
Already, at the beginning of
negotiations to find a solution to the Georgia conflict, it's obvious that
there is more going on here than just differing interpretations of history.
Europe wants to mediate, but it's so divided itself, that it too, requires
mediation. The controversy directly influences the proposals for a solution to
the conflict. The views of Poland and the Baltic states are backed up by
Britain and Russia-skeptic Sweden - in their view that Moscow is the aggressor.
According to the declarations
of this group, international peacekeepers should be stationed in the breakaway
regions of Georgia. In Paris and Berlin, however, one prefers to speak of
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
The debate within NATO is
even sharper. The Eastern Europeans are using this latest war as an argument
that Georgia should be admitted to the alliance as quickly as possible. In the
West, one reaches the opposite conclusion.
[The Economist, U.K.]
For Moscow, which is acting
from a position of strength since its campaign, it will be easy to use this
division for its own purposes. The Kremlin wants to expand its influence and to
keep neighboring countries which that aspire to the West in a state of
permanent instability. The E.U. has no interest in allowing this - but given
their disharmony, they have little to oppose the Russians with.
This war sends a very clear
signal that together with the united States, it's high time to restrict
Russia's sphere of influence. However, not all want to hear that signal.
HERE FOR GERMAN VERSION
FROM AROUND EUROPE ON THE
'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
of President Bush's 'Georgian Protege'
Georgia Can 'Kiss
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany
Georgia: The Proxy
War that Could Go Global
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, France
With Total Victory
Achieved, Russia 'Withdraws'
Rue 89, France
East Europe Best
Not Depend on 'Obsolete' NATO
President 'Dictates His Peace' to Hapless Europe
Le Figaro, France
In South Ossetia,
Le Figaro, France
and Russia, the E.U. is On the Front Line
Le Figaro, France
War in the
Caucasus: Georgia 'Doesn’t Stand a Chance'
The Kremlin Offers
'an Ultimatum' to America
Finally Launch Operation 'Saakasvili's Salvation'
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US August 17, 6:48pm]