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US Senate intends to bolster Georgian defence

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 13
U.S. Republican Senator, John McCain has again called on the Obama administration “to resume the sale of defensive arms to Georgia”, saying that Washington should at least provide Tbilisi with early warning radars. At the same time, the Senate is planning the adoption of Georgia’s supportive resolution.

“For starters, we need to resume the sale of defensive arms to Georgia. Our allies in central and eastern Europe view Georgia as a test case of whether the United States will stand by them or not. Russia views Georgia as a test case, too – of how much it can get away with in Georgia. It is the policy of our government to support Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO. And yet for two years, mostly out of deference to Russia, defensive arms sales have not been authorized for Georgia. This has to change. At a minimum we should provide Georgia with early warning radars and other basic capabilities to strengthen its defenses, “McCain stated.

McCain, who in the speech called for a “greater sense of realism about Russia”, said that Washington needed to deal with Russia more as the modest power it is, not the great power it once was, “Russia’s ongoing occupation of Georgia points to one final reason for realism about Russia: The fact that this government does not share our values. Now, this does not mean that we cannot or should not work with Russia where possible. The world doesn’t work that way. What it does mean, however, is that our engagement with Russia must always be checked by the recognition that this is a government that steals from, lies to, and assaults its own citizens with virtual impunity – so imagine how it will treat us.”

American senators have already prepared a Georgia’s supportive document and brought it to the upper chamber of congress, based on the document Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is recognized and it contains appeals towards Russia to fulfil 6 point ceasefire agreement, “the adoption of such kind of document by the congress towards Georgia, would be inculcation of term occupation as in political vocabulary, as in juridical one, as well. It would be the highest level guarantee that the United States never recognizes those Georgian regions as independent republics and very obvious signal for those countries intending Abkhazia’s and so called South Ossetia’s recognition, “the Parliament Speaker of Georgia, Davit Bakradze, said.

Analyst Soso Tsintsadze does not rule out the possibility of changes in the document, ”The document is a result of diplomatic activeness from the Georgian side in the current year. Herewith, it is obvious that provocative steps during the OSCE summit, reflect negatively on Russia. I do not think that many people would be astonished by the draft resolution in the Congress, however the fact that such an organ is making its policy more active towards Georgia is very nice. I don’t think that the resolution would fail, however I do not exclude the democrats making some formulations softer in the document.”

As the analyst, Nika Chitadze, told The Messenger, “America’s support towards Georgia and the adoption of such a document, which, in my opinion will be supported by a significant number of congressmen, is important. But the second stage is how it will be reflected in present Georgian reality. From a short term perspective, I do not expect serious changes concerning the de facto regions of Georgia. However, I am more optimistic from a long term perspective. I suppose that economic pressure on Russia from the US side will be more effective than that of resolution. For the international community, much will depend on Russia and how much it concedes towards Georgia. However, Europe should follow the United States in this direction and it should be united on this issue, as there are some countries in Europe which are loyal towards Russian activities.”