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Geneva fixes the positions

By Messenger staff
Friday, November 21
The major result of the Geneva talks is that the sides have fixed their positions. These are incompatible, and the language used by each side is also different. But at least it has become known who wants what.

On one side there is Russia, with its newborn “sovereign puppets,” which wants world recognition and approval of its aggressive imperialistic steps. On the other is Georgia, which appeals to the world community to help it tame the unleashed monster. Now everything depends on the civilized world: either it will give the victory to the boxer who knocked down his opponent with unfair kicks or disqualify him for illegal conduct.

Russia wants to legalize its aggression. This is why it was desperate to include the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali marionettes as full, human members of the negotiations. This would indirectly mean that their ‘countries’ had been recognised as independent states. They did not receive such status in October and therefore Russia destroyed the conference. This time they did not receive official status either but attended working group sessions. The explanation of this was that everyone was an individual in the working groups, not representing any entity. Can any individual turn up to international talks and expect to be let in? Whatever is said, this was clearly a step forward for Moscow, and will be seen as such there, as in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.

Georgia considers Russia its opponent, whereas the latter tries to pretend it is a “neutral” (?!) side and instead presents the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali regimes as the opponents of Tbilisi. For the sake of holding the talks, the moderators followed the line of least resistance, preferring the more ambiguous Russian position to the direct Georgian one. If Georgia had followed the line of least resistance it would have let Russia walk in and take over the country, and these talks would not be taking place. Is that what the EU, UN, US and OSCE would have actually approved?

Georgia demanded in Geneva that the Sarkozy-brokered plan is fulfilled completely. This means the return of the armed forces to their prewar (August 7) positions, which would allow IDPs to return to their homes. Georgia also insists on the EU monitors being allowed to enter Russian-controlled territories and that International police forces keep peace and stability there. The Kremlin does not accept any of this. President Medvedev declares that the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali regimes are sovereign states which have agreements with Russia, according to which they are protected by Moscow. Moscow claims that it is therefore legally deploying thousands of extra troops there and building new bases. Medvedev calls the Tbilisi Government a “criminal regime” and does not intend to conduct any negotiations with it. Russia has however been negotiating with that same regime in Geneva, thus undermining its position almost before it has expressed it.

These are the positions the two sides have laid down. But whatever the arguments, the essence of the matter is this: only imbeciles can doubt that Russia provoked the war, which was primarily in Russia’s interests. It sought to punish Georgia for its pro-Western orientation and show to the West who was boss in the South Caucasus. It also wanted to exercise direct/indirect control over Georgian transit corridors. Russia still wants these things, so Georgia is under constant threat. The West must decide whether that is an acceptable situation for any nation to be put in by the playground bully.

Will the West turn another blind eye to Russia’s adventures and become its hostage, or act according its own declared principles? If you really have principles, you eventually have to make sacrifices for them. Until the West stands up to be counted, only Georgia is being sacrificed.