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By ATWadmin On August 9th, 2008

As the Russian bear goes about the business of killing thousands in Georgia, I found this post over on The Tap Blog to be very interesting.

“Those watching Russian tanks and jets attacking Georgian targets in South Ossetia and other parts of Georgia should remember that it was the EU’s recognition and support of Kosovan independence which triggered this eruption of open warfare. Putin stated that he would not sit idly by if the EU pressed ahead with its EULEX in Kosovo, and that he would make a military response if they did. He said that if the ‘West’ thought the break-up of countries could be initiated, then he too would feel able to promote similar ‘secessions’ to Kosovo, where Russia desired such an outcome.

The tensions in South Ossetia and the deployment of Russian peace-keepers began in February, according to the Guardian HERE and were a direct result of the actions of the EU in Kosovo. The link has an excellent video news report from an ‘on-the-ground’ reporter, which I recommend.

The EU is sufficiently arrogant to go about breaking up Serbia in defiance of Russia, acting as if in the role of a superpower, and yet it has no army to back up its political actions. The EU not only ignores the democratic decisions of the peoples it purports to rule. It is extremely dangerous in another way – as it also ignores the strategic realities of the word, and doesn’t understand that there have to be limits to its power and actions.  Ignoring the views and expressed wishes of its own citizens is one thing, but ignoring those who possess military power and have expressed a willingness to use it, such as Prime Minister Putin, is downright folly – folly which has more instant response.

I don’t believe America wants a war with Russia, and there is no doubt that the EU will be pulling up the white flags in Brussels as soon as one shot is fired in Georgia. The hopelessness of the EU talking big and trying to push Russia around in its former territories is now becoming apparent.”

23 Responses to “THE EU GEORGIAN FACTOR…”

  1. Personally. I hope the Russians invade the European Union and kick ass.

  2. I don’t necessarily agree that the acceptance of Kosovan independence has caused this but it is certainly a factor.

    The Russians inferred after the international community’s (disgraceful) acceptance of Kosovo’s breakaway from the rest of Serbia that this would set a dangerous precedent and that they would use this precedent to their advantage.

    It appears that the Rooskies are using the old "we are only going in to protect our own nationals" excuse (a la the Sudetenland and various other illegal invasions). Of course, because it is Russia, they’ll get away with it.

  3. "that it was the EU’s recognition and support of Kosovan independence"

    The EU didn’t recognise Kosovo , some countries within the EU did, but others such as Spain did not.

    Russian aggression against its former vassals is not something that has suddenly emerged with the independence of Kosovo, it has been going on pretty much since the break up of the USSR.

    Even if it were a reaction to Kosovan independence then so what? Are we supposed to let our policy towards the balkans be determined by Russian bullying?

  4. No Ross, but how can the US, the UK and the EU do something in Kosovo and then complain when the Russians do the same in Ossetia. That would be hypocrisy. While the Russians have been attempting to influence the previous members of the Soviet Union, the US, UK and EU are attempting to spread their influence as well. It is the natural order of things. Big Powers will bully small countries.

  5. The Russians aren’t the bad guys in this one. South Ossetia deserves to be fully independent from Georgia, just as Kossovo deserves independence from Serbia.

    Sauce for the goose…

    The EU position is hypocritical in the extreme, but what’s new there?

  6. The Russians have been planning this one for a long time. Putin is behind it all- he’s simply hiding behing Medvedev (the bear, btw, in translation). The pretext of Georgian violence is mostly propaganda spread willingly by western dupes in Moscow. Georgia is a vital strategic link in the region. We have allies enough in Eastern Europe to stand up to Russia, if we get our act together. The Bear has revealed the true meaning of a decade of increasing belligerence and non-cooperation. Unfortunately it’s an autocratic state asserting its old privileges in the region- and it must be stopped. The only problem is we’re completely unready- we’ve missed the signals and not been careful in any sense, whether economic, energy-wise, or militarily.

  7. But Peter, seeing as the former USSR had a policy of putting ethnic Russians in all of the other republics,, creating the precedent that any pro Russian minority in any ex Soviet state can secede and that Russia is entitled to assist them would destabilise all of the surrounding states and give Russia a permanent cause for aggression.

    If 50000 Ossetians can leave Georgia why shouldn’t the millions of ethnic Russians in Kazakhstan or Ukraine follow suit?

  8. Ross

    The pro-Russians are a majority in South Ossetia. The logic of the Kossove decision (which I support) is that majority rules.

    The EU and the USA appear to be saying that independence is ok for Kossove but not for South Ossetia. Bullshit.

  9. "The pro-Russians are a majority in South Ossetia. "

    Yes but only because the ethnic Georgians mostly fled after the wars in the 1990s.

  10. Actually, Ross, in 1926 the Geogrians made up 26.9% of the population of South Ossetia.

    In 1989, they made up 29% of the population of South Ossetia.

    They now make up 30% of the population of South Ossetia.

  11. Does anyone care about South Ossetia? Thought not.

    In the same way we’ll soon be experts in the mens’ coxless fours (lazer class), even people who couldn’t find the Caucuses on a map last week are now experts on Georgian-Ossetian-Russian relations.

    Only one thing matters – that pipeline bringing us the black stuff. If the Ivans stop in South Ossetia, let’em keep it. If they make a move towards the pipeline, war must be an option. Putin’s a dandy underneath all that bluff and bluster. No-one knows it because no-one’s yet forced him to blink.

  12. I know very little about Georgia — but watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing last night on TV was quite interesting —

    President Bush sat in the stands a couple seats away from Putin – and down below on the stadium floor — Bush and Putin watched 15,000 Chinese men perform remarkably coordinated tasks; the Chinese looked like a formidable military machine (except for the smiles, and the pretty costumes).

    And at the very same moment of this remarkable display of people power, Russia was bombing Georgia.

  13. Going by the reaction of the McCain and Obama camps, Russia’s action in Georgia will probably have an impact on the US presidential. McCain’s nails the problem and Obama’s waffles.

    Obama, recovering in Hawaii from the pressures and stresses of the campaign trail, is clearly not ready to be Commander in chief.


    I think you are right. It will bring it home to people that wishful thinking is no substitute for a foreign policy in a world of wolves.

    Russia, China and Islam are going to look for weakness in the next President. They will be hoping for Obama. Europe, if it had any sense, would be hoping for John McCain.

  15. It will bring it home to people that wishful thinking is no substitute for a foreign policy in a world of wolves.

    Only if the voters ignore/forget that foriegn policy has, for 8 years, been conducted in a storm drain with a flame painted V8. A strategy that will not even flutter under a McCain presidency.

    Russia, China and Islam are going to look for weakness in the next President. They will be hoping for Obama. Europe, if it had any sense, would be hoping for John McCain.

    they could also be looking for stability from the worlds only super-power. excessive tension across the world only invites the possibility of wider conflict. recent days show that not everyone is willing to blink.

  16. "The pro-Russians are a majority in South Ossetia."

    That means nothing, Peter.

    Germans were in the majority in the Sudetenland. The pro-Russian South Ossetians are a minority in Georgia and Russia’s attack on Georgia’s territorial integrity is a breach of international law.

  17. Seamus, I was mistaken about the make up of Ossetia, I was thinking of the other Georgian breakaway region.

    Pete Moore, perhaps no one does care about South Ossetia that much, however I do care about Russian aggression* under Putin of which this is the latest example. If they are stopped now it will be the best for everyone.

    Reg, the Sudeten comparison occurred to me too. A key point about the Sudetenland is that without it Czechoslovakia was impossible to defend, similarly if South Ossetia becomes Russian the Georgia’s border makes it impossible to defend.

    * Including nuclear terrorism in London, the murder of Alexander Litvinenko was clearly the work of Russia.

  18. Ross, the Republic of Abkhazia, in 1926, was 36.29% Georgian. That increased to 45.68% Georgian by the break up of the Soviet Union.

    That figure stands now at 25.82%. So yes, the large amounts of the Georgian population have left, but they never had a majority.

    It is estimated that in the fifteen years after the Breakup of the Soviet Union, 170,000 Georgians left Abkhazia, while 150,000 Abkhazs left Abkhazia. To claim Ethnic Cleansing is true, but it was done on a huge scale by both sides.

  19. "It is estimated that in the fifteen years after the Breakup of the Soviet Union, 170,000 Georgians left Abkhazia, while 150,000 Abkhazs left Abkhazia."

    There weren’t 150000 Abkhazis to begin with. Using Wikipedia the ethnic composition of Abkhazia in 1989 compared to 2006 was:

    Georgian: 239,872, 45,953
    Abkhazian: 93,267, 94,606
    Russian: 74,913, 23,420
    Armenian: 76,541, 44,870
    Greek: 14,664, 1,486

  20. The delicious irony of all this is that ‘Uncle’ Joe Stalin, – that homicidal tyrant, who was far worse than Hitler, – was a Georgian, born and bred.

    Could it be the Russians are having a little revenge?

  21. Yet in 1991 all those non Georgian people, despite not being ethnic Abkhazs, voted Abkhaz independence. Just because they weren’t ethnically Abkhaz does not mean they aren’t Abkhaz.

    Phil Babb was Irish, despite not being ethnically Irish. Monty Panesar is English, despite not being ethnically English.

  22. "Yet in 1991 all those non Georgian people, despite not being ethnic Abkhazs, voted Abkhaz independence."

    The only reference to votes in the region taking place in 1991 which I can find refer to a vote on Georgian independence and a vote to remain in the USSR. I can’t see any referendum on the issue of independence as having taken place.

  23. They voted to be independent of Georgia, that never once said that they had to become independent of all nations.