An example of a biased article from RFE/RL. The relations between Russia on one side and Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the other side are much more complex, than described in the article. There were no “hundreds of thousands of Georgian refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia”, but approximately 200000-250000 from Abkhazia and 10000-15000 from South Ossetia. Number of Ossetian refugees, that were expelled from inner Georgia (not even from South Ossetia) was ca. 80000.
What RFE/RL doesn’t want to recognize is that matryoshka effect takes place here: it is of course Russian objective to use Abkhazia and South Ossetia to meddle in Georgian affairs, to undermine Georgian state and try to subdue the country, but on the other hand Georgia itself has oppressed its national minorities in rather nasty ways (not only the Abkhaz and Ossetians), including expulsion of large quantities Ossetian population in Georgia. It was not the Ossetians or the Abkhaz that attacked Georgians, it was the Georgians that came over to attack these tiny regions. Of course, Russia has played its role in all these events, why shouldn’t they have done so?
The West is overstretched nowadays, so it does not really want to get too deeply involved in these issues. At the same time, some kind of reaction is needed, as the Russians will advance their offensive even further, if no appropriate response is made. I only see one possibility – to speed up Georgia’s and Ukraine’s accession to NATO, to leave out Abkhazia and South Ossetia, invest in Georgia’s economic development and preferably play Russia into recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia, so that Russia could be reminded all the time about being an aggressor. Or else a lot of pressure should be applied to Russia in order to remove it from these regions and to deploy an international force. Few will agree to send in forces, simply because everyone understands, Russians will stir locals into a guerilla war, if Russians are to leave the region. So the best way of dealing with this issue, in my point of view is just to leave responsibility for these regions to Russia and capitalize on that.
Russia: Examining Moscow’s Motives In Georgia’s Frozen Conflicts
Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia (file photo)
The timing of Russia’s move this week to forge closer links with two Georgian separatist regions has raised more than a few eyebrows in Tbilisi and the West.
In explaining President Vladimir Putin’s decision, which calls for establishing formal ties with businesses and organizations in the pro-Moscow breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Kamynin said the move “does not mean that Russia has chosen the course of confrontation” with Tbilisi.
Yet it comes just weeks after Georgia secured a pledge of eventual NATO membership during the alliance’s Bucharest summit, and shortly after Tbilisi proposed a new peace plan for Abkhazia.
The United States, the European Union, and NATO have joined Georgia in condemning the step, which some observers believe is part of an attempt to derail the South Caucasus nation’s attempt to join the Western alliance.