War in the
Caucasus: Georgia 'Doesn’t Stand a Chance'
"Is NATO going to risk a war
with Russia to save Georgia? In bombing the base where U.S. instructors are
stationed, the Russian Air Force has pointed its finger at Western impotence.
Now that Moscow has unleashed its tanks and planes into the battle, Georgia
doesn't stand a chance."
might seem like beautiful, distant confetti lost in the Caucasus, but the
fighting taking place there must be taken very seriously. An open war has begun
between Russia and pro-Western Georgia, over Georgian territory where Moscow
supports secessionist aspirations.
But this issue
goes far beyond that. This concerns the relations that Russia's Vladimir Putin
and Dimitri Medvedev Russia wish to establish with its “near abroad” and the
Calls for the
immediate cessation of hostilities are needed, as is insistence on Moscow's
compliance with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its
internationally-recognized borders. But to impose such fine principles, we'll
have to make them forget the precedent of the unilateral independence of Kosovo
which the Kremlin brandishes to justify its intervention in support of the
It's unclear who
ignited the gunpowder. But it's no coincidence that the fighting erupted the day
of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. The focus was elsewhere
and the Ossetian separatists as well the Georgians wanted to take the
opportunity to advance their pawns.
military intervention of Russia, Tbilisi would be able to restore its control
over the rebel territory. That would have been an affront to the Kremlin. Now
that Moscow has unleashed its tanks and planes into the battle, Georgia doesn't
stand a chance.
RUSSIA NEWS REPORT; PUTIN CALLS
fighting and starting negotiations is urgently needed to prevent the conflict
from spreading and to prevent the opening of a second front in Abkhazia,
another Georgian province where separatists are supported by Moscow.
This will not be
easy. In the midst of a resurgent nationalism, Russia cannot afford to lose a
foothold in the Southern Caucasus. For her, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are two
beachheads into a Georgia that is openly hostile and where Russia hopes one day
to regain the positions it lost with the “Rose Revolution” in November 2003.
deny Russian intimidation and encouraged by the United States to push his
country toward joining NATO, President Mikhail Saakachvili is counting on
assistance from Western nations. He knows that his country has become a
valuable corridor for the hydrocarbons of the Caspian Sea.
But he has
undoubtedly deluded himself. Is NATO going to risk a war with Russia to save
Georgia? On Friday in bombing the military base of Vaziani near Tbilisi where
American instructors are stationed, the Russian Air Force has pointed its
finger at Western impotence.
between Moscow and Tbilisi has been brewing for a long time. Now that war is at
the gates of our continent - and after the failure of German mediation
regarding Abkhazia, the European Union, under the French presidency, must
regain the initiative to ensure that relations with Russia don’t irreversibly