Monday, August 25, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

Georgia on my mind…..

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev convened security chiefs on Tuesday to consider a plea from parliament to recognize two separatist regions of Georgia as independent, a move Washington says would be unacceptable.

The meeting came amid signs Moscow was preparing for a showdown with the West over its action in Georgia.

Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, compared the position to the eve of World War One, saying a new freeze in relations was inevitable.
"The current atmosphere reminds me of the situation in Europe in 1914 ... when because of one terrorist leading world powers clashed," Rogozin told the RBK Daily business newspaper.

"I hope (Georgian President) Mikheil Saakashvili will not go down in history as a new Gavrilo Princip," Rogozin said, referring to the man who in August 1914 killed Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, triggering the world war.

U.S. President George W. Bush said he was deeply concerned by the parliamentary votes. MORE

The BBC reports that the ceasefire agreement brokered by France had called on Russia and Georgia to pull back their forces to positions held on 6 August, before the outbreak of hostilities.

Russia, though, says it has the right to maintain a troop presence inside Georgia. It has created a buffer zone - what it calls an "area of responsibility" - around South Ossetia, which cuts into undisputed Georgian territory.

There are reports, too, of Russian soldiers digging in around the commercial port of Poti in western Georgia.

The United States and European leaders have criticized Moscow's limited pullout.

The Russians are playing "Chicken", and unfortunately for the people of Georgia, it looks like the Russians will win this round. Neither Europe nor the US has the capability to strong-arm The Russians into leaving Georgia. The Europeans need the gas, and the US needs Russia's cooperation on Iran (which it really won't get no matter what else happens).


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