17 February, 2011

‘Her Majesty [Queen Elizabeth II] told me that it is difficult to be a neighbor of a super power’
Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II

August 2008. Martial law declared in Georgia by the President of the country. European Union is working on a ceasefire to end the violent conflict. Russian military troops are in Georgia’s breakaway territories.
“Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili signed a cease-fire agreement on Friday, which the U.S. said means Russian troops must beg

in withdrawing,” CNN reported early in the morning  of  August 15, 2008.
The Sarkozy-brokered agreement still remains unfulfilled. Later, after signing the ceasefire agreement, at a news conference with Condoleezza Rice, Saakashvili stated that “this is not a done deal yet” as a threat of its repetition still exists.
Shortly after signing the Agreement, US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Georgia bringing the US President’s clear and simple message that “America’s stand with Georgia will continue.” In his address to the Georgian Parliament Biden said “America is not about to abandon Georgia or Ukraine, but nor will it use them as bargaining chips to appease Moscow.” In the same speech Biden voiced absolutely new terms in US-Russia relations — “reset” — intended to reset US relations with Russia.
While the US is looking for a start up mechanism for its “reset” policy with Russia, the latter has moved ballistic missiles to the territory of Georgia’s South Ossetia, which are capable of effectively repelling any military offense from Tbilisi. The missile, called the SS-21 Scarab, is a short-range single-warhead missile, which can destroy a target within 100 km.
However, to deploy missiles does not really mean they will shoot. For instance, remember Mistral’s story? Let me remind you.
While the Sarkozy-brokered agreement moved further and further away from reality, Russia and France signed an agreement to jointly build Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy.
On an initial stage of Russia-France negotiations politicians were concerned and started to call on France not to sell Mistrals to Russia as deployment of Mistrals by Russia would cause imbalance of forces in the region. Who would dare say then that helicopter carries would be used “to protect South Kuril Islands from Japan” (as Russian media says)? According to the Franco-Russia contract, four warships in total are to be built jointly, though the first two are already ordered to be deployed on the disputed South Kuril Islands located in the pacific.
Globe’s attention was focused on Egypt last week and earlier - on Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution”. Colored revolutions became familiar to world community – Serbia-2005, Georgia-2003, Ukrine-2004, Kyrgizstan-2005. Where is the wind of revolutionary changes blowing to? To Russia? It is doubtful! As Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov wrote in “Times” magazine, revolution doesn’t threaten Russia because it is the business of young people. Russian population is old, Egypt’s population is young. Average age in Egypt is 24.
Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili pledged a “non-use of force” commitment. In his speech to the European Parliament on November 23, Saakashvili said that he would send a relevant letter of Georgia’s “non-use of force” pledge to the UN Secretary General, the OSCE Secretary General and EU leaders. 
It seems that while Saakashvili is preparing the above mentioned letters and his new campaign of vowing not to use force in the region, Medvedev is busy deploying various types of weaponry. Meanwhile Georgia’s IDPs are looking forward to seeing an effective “reset of US relations with Russia,” or wind of revolutionary changes that will reach Russia, which may help them get back to their homes as Obama-Saakashvili meetings had brought no results.
What has changed is the number of Russian missiles aimed at key targets in Georgia currently being amassed on the breakaway territories.

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