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Russia the occupier

By Messenger Staff
Friday, November 19
After Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the recognition of two breakaway regions as independent states by Russia, Georgia’s main task was to ensure that different countries did not recognize its breakaway regions as independent states. The Georgian diplomatic services carried out very intensive work in this direction. In reality, Georgia became quite successful in this direction; only three minor countries recognized Georgia’s breakaway regions as independent states: Venezuela with its odious leader Hugo Chavez, Nicaragua and Nauru. Russian attempts to either bribe or blackmail other countries, including their allies in CIS, failed. Now there is the second round of a cold war between Georgia and Russia. Tbilisi wants the world community to generally acknowledge that Russia is occupying Georgian territory, and certain steps have already been achieved in this direction. Many political figures worldwide, including US secretary of state Hilary Clinton are using this term ‘occupation’ in regards to the territories controlled by Russian supported puppet regimes. On November 16, during the Plenary Assembly of NATO in Warsaw, a resolution was adopted where Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region were recognized as occupied territories. The resolution also stated that ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population had taken place. According to Georgian authorities this represented a serious breakthrough. The NATO PA document openly confirmed once again its respect for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and appealed to Russia to honour the commitments of the August 12, 2008 Medvedev-Sarkozy-Saakashvili agreement which envisaged the withdrawal of Russian occupational troops from Georgian territory. It also created preconditions for the return of IDPs of Georgian ethnicitiy back to their places of original dwelling.

The PA also repeated its request that Russia should allow international observers in to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (so called South Ossetia). Georgian analysts highlight that the NATO PA session was held right on the eve of NATO Lisabon summit. Georgians believe that the summit will adopt a similar document which would re-assert the existence of occupation and ethnic cleansing.

Of course, with such moves Moscow becomes more and more isolated and therefore it is irritated and is doing its best to prevent Georgia from creating a pro Tbilisi mood in the international community. The Kremlin’s puppet leaders keep talking about a new reality in the Caucasus, with the existence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as sovereign states. But it is difficult to brainwash and blackmail everybody. Of course, recognizing occupation and ethnic cleansing is very important but this will not automatically be followed by de occupation of these territories. However, the Kremlin should eventually be forced to take some steps in this direction, maybe through allowing IDPs to return home.

Today, the firm position of the international community in support of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, will most probably preclude any aggressive Russian plans to launch further attacks on Georgia.