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Occupation a reality

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 8
The Geneva talks held on March 5th concerning the disputed territories in Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region revealed once again that Moscow is utterly irritated when the current situation is assessed worldwide as an occupation of Georgian territories by Russia.

Moscow does not want to be viewed as the party of the conflict and of course does not accept the use of the term ‘aggressor’ against Russia. They want to be acknowledged as peacekeepers and therefore commit subversive activities in a disguised form of pretending to be peacekeepers.

The Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008 destroyed the Russian peacekeeping mission myth and the term “occupation” used presently by analysts, journalists and politicians describes the real situation in the region. The term has been used widely in a number of different documents in various countries as well as by international organisations. Of course much importance is paid to the position of the US and Georgia is very satisfied that assistant Secretary of State on European and Eurasian issues, Philip Gordon openly clarified the US position on Georgian - Russian relations following the Russian aggression of August 2008.

On March 3, 2011 at the Bratislava Global Security Forum in Slovakia Gordon dedicated several paragraphs to the issue during his appearance. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was also straightforward in determining the current reality of relations between Georgia and Russia. Representatives of other countries have also started using the term to describe the reality; however Russia stubbornly continues to deny any aggressive behaviour and makes no move to retreat. Neither the USA nor the EU countries seem able to exert any additional extra pressure on Moscow and force it to make concessions. The US wants to facilitate the establishment of a regime for dialogue between Moscow and Tbilisi, but the Kremlin continues to refuse to sit at the table with Saakashvili. It is clear that President Saakashvili is determined to remain in power following the expiration of his presidential term, but as Prime Minister with new powers in line with the newly adopted constitution. So it is unlikely that there will be any sort of dialogue between Moscow and Tbilisi soon and most probably the US realises that with the current circumstances and relationship between the countries’ leaders, the situation is unlikely to change for the better. As a result of this awkward situation, the Georgian opposition believes that the current reality will probably force Georgia’s western allies and friends to exert pressure on the country’s ruling administration to make some concessions and allow other groups to share power. Another common sentiment consistently floating here in Georgia is that if the west does not facilitate a smooth transition of power from one party to another, this will result in frustration causing the country’s opposition forces to look to the north or even worse, lead the country into civil unrest.