Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Georgia, Russia and the like

The problem with this entire question is that there is a lack of consistency.

I'm no great fan of Russia but if one thing has managed to retain its salience it is the pull of romantic Russian nationalism. It is very much the basis of the appeal of Putin.

In addition, the support of small nations to achieve independent governance is clear enough, Kosovo being the latest example.

In this situation, isn't it clear that the two renegade Georgian provinces should be able to return to Russia if they wish? They are not ethnically Georgian, their inhabitants regard themselves as Russian, and they are Russian citizens.

And whilst the Georgian leader may have designs on joining NATO, hasn't this been made extremely unlikely? Does NATO really want the equivalent of a yappy, bad tempered terrier snapping at the heels of the local Great Dane?

1 comment:

Ted Harvey said...

As you say, it's a complex matter. Howevever, can we look beyond the 'local' players Russia and Georgia and focus on the malign and appalling activities of the USA? That grand buffoon George Bush during his recent high profile visit to Georgia made very belicose and inflammatory statements on public podiums standing with the gangster that is the current Georgia president.

The USA has aligned itself very publicly with some very unsavoury charactors 'running' some of the ex USSR satellite republics. It ineptly overplayed its hand with the Georgian president and he took their encouragement to be an implicit assurance that he would have the (military) backing of the West if he took on Russia.

It was clear that the next step was the USA arming some of these republics with some heavy grade sophisticated weaponary that would be bound to cause severe concern, if not paranioa, in Russia. Russia may be an unpalatable entity, but it still has its own legitimate concerns and interests - especially given that the last war from the West cost it some 20 million lives.

Thank the gods for all of us that the Europeans in NATO prevailed against the USA's wish to get Georgia into NATO last year. Otherwise we would as Europeans now be at war with Russia. It's time for Europe to start more of a disengagement from the USA and to work out its own existance in a troubled world.