Monday, August 11, 2008

Meddling EU Must End Georgia Madness

EU diplomats are desperately trying to broker a peace as its political leaders are forced to face up to the disaster they have helped to create in Georgia. As Charles King, writing in the US CSMonitor, argues, the 'Russo-Georgian conflict is not all Russia's fault'.

There seems to be no end to the fighting, despite reports that Georgia has ordered its forces to end hostilities in South Ossetia. 

As noted by the Orange Party  here, the Russian Bear sleeps with one eye open. Politicians in the UK and EU leaders should have realised that, instead of interfering in the tinderbox of the Caucasus.

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

The UK may be forced to live with Blair's legacy but most EU nations have no taste for war. But the rapid, unchecked expansion of EU power, has allowed it to develop foreign and military policies, now being played out in the Caucasus.

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. 

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 in Europe, but the last thing Bush wants is another war in the last few months of his watch. And the diplomatic activity behind the scenes with Russia will be intense.

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 still 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. 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."


Stephen said...

In case you haven't noticed, the USSR was disbanded, and the Russians don't own Georgia anymore. That's what's at the heart of their frustration.

In this small world, the hostile takeover of any nation by another is not only unacceptable, it has worldwide consequenses (even if it doesn't have oil, or pipelines.)

I hope you never have a part of your country declared by rebels to be independent, then have them call upon their big friends to beat you up with their military until you accept it as fact.

the orange party said...

In case you haven't noticed, Stephen, Georgia doesn't 'own' South Ossetia either - but that didn't stop Georgia invading.

Anonymous said...

You're so right, Stephen. Can you imagine what would happen if, say, Albanians in Serbia tried what you're saying...err...

Anonymous said...

The EU has a right to stand up for small nations. It was formed to stop war in the continent. We must stop war. Russia sand the EU are dependent on eachother they need eachother for trade and security. Russia and Goergia should join the union too.

Stephen said...

Hey, Orange Party, in case you haven't noticed, S. Osettia lies WITHIN the Republic of Georgia's boundaries.

They also had taken steps to give it wide autonomy, but the Russian inteligence services moved in and stirred up separatist rhetoric where none had existed, and then sought to provoke Georgia into a respoinse by shooting over its borders.

There's a way to gain independence (pleblicites, etc.) that are peaceful, then there's the brutal Russian way.