The conflict between Georgia and Russia has seen the EU become the main diplomatic mediator between the two and it should use this status to develop peaceful relations in the region, argue Nicu Popescu et al. in an August 2008 commentary for the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Turkey is one of the countries that will be most vulnerable vis-à-vis a new global order triggered by the conflict between Georgia and Russia, a study by the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/ USAK) has noted.
The conflict erupted on Aug. 7-8 when Georgia tried to retake South Ossetia. A Russian counter-offensive pushed into Georgia proper, crossing its east-west highway and nearing a Western-backed oil pipeline. Russia ignored Western demands to remove its remaining troops from Georgia’s heartland, saying the residual troops are peacekeepers needed to avert further bloodshed and to protect the people of Georgia’s separatist, pro-Moscow provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two days after Moscow said it had wrapped up its withdrawal.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, has recognised the breakaway Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Only yesterday, the Russian parliament proclamed its unanimous support for the independence of the secessionist regions. What does this new gambit portend for the Caucasus crisis and for Europe?
MOSCOW, Aug. 26 — President Dmitry Medvedev recognized the independence of two breakaway regions of Georgia on Tuesday and called on other nations to do the same, escalating what has become one of the most serious conflicts between Russia and the United States since the end of the Cold War.
So Russia has decided to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Does this mean recognition for Kosovo is not far behind?
Earlier this year, at the Russia-India-China meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia scored a major diplomatic coup when it got support for a common statement on Kosovo: that there could be no recognition of a unilateral declaration of independence and that UN Security Council Resolution 1244, with its call for "substantial autonomy" for Kosovo within Serbia was the path forward. Russia was seen in much of the "World without the West" as a defender of a key principle that is near and dear to the 140 countries or so that have chosen not to recognize Kosovo independence.
As the dust from Russia’s tank-tracks settles again over Georgia, the accounting inside the country has begun. For the moment, the accent is on damage- assessment and reconstruction but the focus is already slowly shifting to the role in starting the conflict of Mikheil Saakashvili. Georgia’s young president will soon find himself in the spotlight again and it will not be a comfortable place.
Faced with an ever-increasing flow of immigrants towards its borders, the EU has adopted a directive that defines procedures for the return of illegally resident third-country nationals. But the EU initiative received bad publicity in Latin America after being labelled the ‘Directive of Shame’.
MEPs will be able to resume sessions in Strasbourg by 22 September as the ceiling of the European Parliament’s plenary building in Strasbourg is now "completely repaired" and "probably the safest ceiling in the world," a European Parliament spokesperson told EurActiv.
US and EU leaders have warned Russia not to recognise the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and not to suspend its relations with NATO. But Russia remains defiant in the spiralling war of words following the conflict in Georgia.
The Czech and Slovak prime ministers have joined forces in opposing French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s view that Croatia’s EU accession should be delayed following the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by Ireland.
Francis Fukiyama was wrong. We have not been witnessing the end of history, but the return of history. One reason for this is that we have not learned the lessons
Italy’s Northern League, the populist, xenophobic, sometimes separatist movement that is a key component of Silvio Berlusconi’s governing coalition, has proposed new…
This is a guest blog post by Pat Patterson:
Kenneth R. Weinstein, the CEO of the Hudson Institute, wrote a recent article in The Weekly Standard which argues that the divisions within the EU are greater and institutionalized than the more publicized division between the EU and the US.
After delays, the Russian promise to withdraw its military forces from Georgia seems to be taking shape. By the terms of the French-brokered cease-fire Russian troops will remain in South Ossetia, plus occupy a security belt of undisclosed width in South Ossetia.
The US aspiration to send humanitarian aid to war-torn Georgia on navy hospital ships through the Turkish Straits placed Turkey in a difficult position last week.
he war in Georgia divided the EU instead of uniting it, while differences between its members’ positions will thwart the bloc’s attempts to develop a common Russia policy, writes Tomas Valasek in an August paper for the Centre for European Reform (CER).
The EU’s flagship Nabucco pipeline project, which aims to bring gas to Europe from countries other than Russia, notably via Georgian territory, appears to be up in the air due to the crisis currently pitting Moscow against Tbilisi.
A cross-portrait of the two worst European performers, after two alarming reports published in August in the UK confirm an inconvenient truth
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday (24 August) expressed his congratulations to French and EU athletes on their "great success" at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the meantime, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogue labelled the Beijing Games "exceptional".
The Olympic Games came to an end yesterday in Beijing. The Chinese leadership had been roundly criticised in the run-up to the games for their disregard for human rights. During the event itself, however, international government representatives were much more reserved in their protest. The European press takes stock.
The last gold medal has been won, the last world record broken, and the Olympic flag is now in the care of London’s mayor, Boris Johnson. What now? As far as the games…
So now I’m in Burundi for a couple of weeks, on business.
I’ll probably do most of my Burundi-blogging over at my home blog. But here’s a thing: Burundi is part of La Francophonie and, yup, everyone here speaks French.
It’s no surprise that George Bush is sending Dick Cheney to the Black Sea region next week. If media accounts are to be believed, and they are plausible, the Cheney faction in the administration had long pushed for a much harder anti-Russian line and may still be advocating more aggressive moves in the coming weeks. But here is Cheney’s official itinerary –
These recent American moves seem to be coordinated efforts to threaten Russia with hostile encirclement, although they can be interpreted as gestures of support for the governments along Russia’s borders that are disturbed by this obvious effort by Moscow to reassert its will at the expense of the sovereign rights of its neighbors.