Sunday, August 10, 2008

EU Meddling Sparked Georgia Tinderbox

The Russian Bear sleeps with one eye open. Politicians in the UK and EU leaders would do well to remember that, instead of interfering in the tinderbox of the Caucasus.

There seems to be no end to the fighting, despite reports that Georgia has ordered its forces to cease fire and offered to start talks with Russia over an end to hostilities in South Ossetia. 

Any pretence that the EU is just an economic organisation and doesn't dabble in foreign and military matters were scotched, when Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was given the oxygen of publicity, appearing on TV in front of an EU flag. Thinking he could hide behind an EU and indeed US shield was a seriously misjudgement. 

It was Bush and the EU who gave military and political support to Georgia through the Train and Equip military assistance programme, to encourage them to come under the NATO umbrella. That was a red rag to the Russians. Historically they're a nation paranoid about threats of invasion.

It was Bush and the EU who helped build the gas and oil pipelines that gave the Georgian president the confidence and cash to flex his muscles in South Ossetia. 

The US has its own agenda, but since when did the EU have a foreign and military policy?

EU diplomats are now trying to broker a peace - its political leaders only now waking up to the disaster they have helped to create.

When the EU gets involved in a such a potentially volatile area, without a true understanding of the consequences, it's the people who suffer.

This comment posted on the BBC website echoes the feelings of many young Russians:

"It's really upsetting that people are dying. It's difficult to say who is right or wrong. Russia is defending its own citizens and it did try to persuade Georgia to stop. Russia was forced to start military action. The people are suffering from the bad manners of the politicians. The Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has no common sense. It is beyond comprehension that he wants to resolve things this way."

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