Between America and Russia, the E.U. is On
the Front Line
"The entire relationship
between Russia and the West hangs in the balance … Did Georgia deliberately
initiate the conflict in wanting to regain control of South Ossetia? If so, did
it get the green light fro Washington? Or is it the contrary: that Russia, by
the extent of its reaction, is the aggressor?"
By Pierre Rousselin
By Sandrine Ageorges
- Le Figaro - Original Article (French)
The diplomatic phase now opening in regard to the conflict
in South Ossetia will be more complicated than the ongoing military operations.
Beyond the fate of a separatist province of Georgia - and soon a second,
Abkhazia - the entire relationship between Russia and the West hangs in the
Vladimir Putin understands this, since on his return
from the Beijing Olympic Games he stopped in Caucasus. This was first of all to
encourage Russian troops engaged in battle, but it was mainly to serve as a
warning to George W. Bush and the Europeans about the importance Moscow
attaches to the events playing out in Georgia.
As the head of Europe [France holds the rotating E.U.
presidency], France is in a key position to conduct decisive mediation over the
future of East-West relations.
One must first of all, and urgently, obtain a
cessation of hostilities. What is being prepared in Abkhazia is in fact on a
scale that would be far more serious than the devastation that has occurred in
South Ossetia. The Russian bombing of Georgian territory far from the combat
zone, the naval blockade and the reinforcements that have been sent to Abkhazia
show that the Kremlin will not allow its interests to be challenged in the
Setting an Example:
Russia's silver-medal winner Natalia Paderina,
left, and Georgia's
bronze medal winner Nino Salukvadze, hug and
wave after the 10-meter
air pistol final at the 2008 Olympics. As the
two embraced on the
medal stand, their two nations were at war.
Did Georgia deliberately initiate the conflict in
wanting to regain control of South Ossetia? If so, did it get the green light
fro Washington? Or is it the contrary: that Russia, by the extent of its
reaction, is the aggressor?
Rather than seeking to designate those responsible for
the crisis and brandishing condemnations, it is more useful to define the
principles on which to base a political solution to a situation that is in many
Confronting the Russian desire to maintain a foothold
in the southern Caucasus, we must with all determination defend the sovereignty
of Georgia. In exchange for this principle, endorsed by all European countries
and the United-States, Georgian President Mikahaïl
Saakachvili must calm the spirits and renounce the use of force.
It would be absurd to humiliate Russia. But demanding that it stop the
creeping annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by encouraging the
separatists has become an international priority. This is a precondition for
serious negotiations with Moscow on the status of the two breakaway regions.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
The Kremlin considers that its interests are at stake
in the Southern Caucasus and in its “near abroad." For its part, Georgia
claims full sovereignty and intends to free itself from Russia. It wants to
join NATO, while Russia sees this as a threat.
All of this must be addressed. Between the United
States and Russia, the European Union is on the front line. By extending the
German initiative on Abkhazia, European diplomacy must find a way to initiate a
dialogue with Moscow to preserve peace on our continent. This is a heavy
responsibility for the French presidency.
[The Times, U.K.]
CLICK HERE FOR FRENCH
FROM AROUND EUROPE ON THE
'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland
of President Bush's 'Georgian Protege'
Georgia Can 'Kiss
Financial Times Deutschland, Germany
Before Georgia -
Its Europe that Needs Mediation
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany
Georgia: The Proxy
War that Could Go Global
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
WORLDMEETS.US August 11, 6:35pm]