The messenger logo

New US administration to back up Georgia

By Messenger staff
Thursday, December 11
Here in Georgia, people are very sensitive about how relations will develop with the new US administration. The Bush administration followed a generally pro-Georgian course and Bush himself addressed the Georgian people in Freedom Square, a significant gesture. Obama is clearly very different in many respects, and his professed support for Georgia has yet to be tested in any practical sense.

It should be admitted that even before the elections Barack Obama clearly outlined his policy towards Georgia and his more recent comments about the Russian-Georgian conflict and relations have further confirmed that the USA will not abandon its ally. It could also be said that the US unlikely to agree with Russian claims that it has a right to dominate the post-Soviet space. In his interview with NBC Barack Obama clearly highlighted that he is totally against Russia’s policy of threatening its neighbours, something contrary to international norms. He has condemned Russia’s conduct towards its closest neighbour.

Russia has several times all but officially accused the USA of encouraging Georgian “aggressiveness.” The position expressed by American officials however is that Georgia was trapped by a series of Russian-masterminded provocations. Mathew Bryza has several times criticized Moscow for violating the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement by not fulfilling all its points. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has also made clear her frustration that Russia has so far missed its chance to become an international player under 21st century rather than 19th century rules.

President-elect Obama’s statements give us confidence that the USA is not going to withdrew from the region. So most likely Moscow’s plan to completely destroy Georgia will not be fulfilled. It should be remembered that right in the middle of the August conflict future Vice- President Joe Biden arrived in Tbilisi and proclaimed his one billion dollar support initiative.

Georgian officials commenting on Obama’s NBC interview have expressed their utmost satisfaction with the US position and politics towards the region. Opposition representatives are also expressing their content in this direction and hope that the new administration will promote in Georgia more liberal democratic values and institutions rather than looking to America’s short term interest and being more concerned about individual personalities than the systems the US always supports.

Leader of the Republicans Davit Usupashvili is sure that such an approach will be more beneficial for both countries. If Obama sincerely believes in the superiority of American values, as he has repeatedly stated, Georgia might expect to feel the benefit of these from his administration.