Georgia/Russia news: 9 SEP 2008
NOTE: This is an informational compilation. GMF does not endorse, either explicitly or implicitly, the content contained herein.
New York Times (U.S.), Thom Shanker and Steven Lee Myers, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: "The Bush administration, after considerable internal debate, has decided not to take direct punitive action against Russia for its conflict with Georgia, concluding that it has little leverage if it acts unilaterally and that it would be better off pressing for a chorus of international criticism to be led by Europe €¦Even as they vowed to work with allies, administration officials conceded that they wished the European Union had been willing to take firmer action than issuing tepid statements criticizing Russia's conduct."
Washington Post (U.S.), Philip P. Pan, 9 Sep 2008
Summary: "Russia plans to more than double its military presence in the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and station troops there indefinitely, officials said Tuesday, a day after President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to withdraw Russian forces from the rest of Georgia by Oct. 11."
Kommersant (RUS), 9 Sep 2008
Summary: Joint exercises with Venezuelan ships will be held in the Atlantic Ocean in November of this year as part of the military preparedness plan. Viktor Dygalo, head of the information and public relations service of the Russian Navel Fleet stated that Russia will send a detachment of ships from the North Sea Fleet led by the heavy atomic cruiser Peter the Great.
International Herald Tribune, Ellen Barry and Dan Bilefsky, 9 Sep 2008
Summary: "After a tense four-hour meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Russia's president, Dmitri Medvedev, announced Monday that Russia agreed to withdraw its troops by mid-October from its positions in Georgia outside the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia €¦The conflict has become a test for the European Union's ambition to become a major foreign policy player on a par with the United States, and a personal credibility test for the French president, who currently holds the bloc's rotating presidency."
The Moscow Times (RUS), Nabi Abdullaev and Anatoly Medetsky , 9 Sep 2008
Summary: Russia has agreed to remove its troops from"buffer zones" in Georgia within 10 days of the deployment of additional EU monitors.
Washington Post (U.S.), Tara Bahrampour, 9 Sep 2008
Summary: "As open war between Georgia and Russia has subsided into a tense standoff among world powers, Georgians inside and outside the government have begun to question the wisdom of the costly confrontation, and of the leaders who set it in motion €¦Opposition leaders as well as some longtime supporters of the president are calling for investigations into what they call failures in diplomacy and warfare, and some are predicting Saakashvili will be forced from office by a war they say he hoped would earn him a place in history."
RIA Novosti (RUS), 9 Sep 2008
Summary: The EU said Tuesday the Belarus foreign minister has been invited to attend a meeting in Paris on September 15 in a sign that the 27-nation bloc is shifting away from its hard line stance towards Minsk.
Financial Times (UK), Michael Steen, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: "Georgia resurrected an international racial discrimination convention from the 1960s on Monday to take Russia to a United Nations court in The Hague over its invasion of South Ossetia €“ accusing Moscow of ethnic cleansing. If successful, the novel legal move could yield a symbolic victory for Tbilisi, which says it was the victim of Russian aggression in last month's conflict."
The Moscow Times (RUS), Jamey Keaten, 9 Sep 2008
Summary: Russian banks on Monday sought more money than was on offer at an auction of unspent budget funds aimed at supporting liquidity in the industry after investors continued pulling money out of the country's markets last week.
Financial Times (UK), Tony Barber, 9 Sep 2008
Summary: "The European Union on Tuesday declined to offer Ukraine the long-term prospect of EU membership, frustrating Ukrainian officials who said the bloc had thrown away a golden opportunity to stabilise its eastern frontier and encourage political and economic reform in Kiev €¦Diplomats said Germany and the Netherlands, and to a lesser extent Belgium, were the states most reluctant to make a firm promise that Ukraine could one day join the EU."
International Herald Tribune, Dan Bilefsky and Michael Schwirtz, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: "When a Russian-language theater troupe from Georgia went to St. Petersburg a few years ago to stage a darkly satirical play about modern Russia - featuring a mentally impaired child named Vladimir who brings the country to ruin and a Stalinist plot to create a master race through artificial insemination - much of the Russian audience hissed and booed €¦The war and its aftermath have nevertheless been greeted with an anti-Russian backlash that is spilling over into politics and culture."
Washington Post (U.S.), David Ignatius, 10 Sep 2008
Summary: "In the month since the Russian invasion of Georgia, the Bush administration has crafted a policy that should please some liberal critics and upset conservative hard-liners -- a low-key approach that tries to help the Georgians recover without backing Russia further into a corner €¦This go-slow message is in part a reflection of the administration's frustration that Saakashvili ignored repeated advice over the past two years not to provoke Russia over the disputed regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia."
Financial Times (UK), Gideon Rachman, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: "But what is clear is that Georgia placed a big bet on its special relationship with the US €“ and that it failed to pay off. Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, is the only city that I have ever visited with a George W. Bush Avenue (although I am told there is another one in Albania). Yet €“ when fighting broke out €“ George W. Bush Avenue was a road to nowhere."
The Russian Profile (RUS), Shaun Walker, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: Covering the short August conflict between Russia and Georgia was an exercise in sifting through propaganda and hyperbole and dissecting it for fragments of truth. As the dust settles on the war, the question of guilt and responsibility remains one of the most hotly debated, with the Russians upset that much of the international community has bought Georgia's version that the spat occurred as a result of a Russian provocation.
The Guardian (UK), Julian Borger, 9 Sep 2008
Summary: "It is hard to see what Geneva can achieve, and it is equally difficult to imagine what the EU can do if Russia does not withdraw from Georgia after all. Britain's attempt to use the crisis to crystallise some sort of united European bargaining position on Russian gas supplies has gone nowhere. The national interests at stake are too immediate and too visceral. No European government is willing to risk its voters going cold this winter because of withheld supplies."
POLICY INSTITUTE ANALYSIS
Center for Strategic and International Studies (U.S.), Andrew C. Kuchins, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: "Emotions are riding high in Washington, but the United States must very carefully consider and calibrate its response to prevent a complete breakdown in the U.S.-Russian relationship that would seriously damage a number of its core security and foreign policy interests around the world. We are on the precipice of a twenty-first century Cold War that could easily prove to be more dangerous and unstable than the one the United States survived and won in the last century. Alliances are more rickety, interests more cross cutting, so behavior is less predictable, and the possibility for miscalculation considerably greater."
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (U.S.), Dmitri Trenin, 8 Sep 2008
Summary: "The most recent round of chaos reflects the vast schism that has long existed in Ukraine, but has been thrust onto center stage by Russia's incursion into Georgia €¦ Though such fault lines are nothing new in a diverse and fractious nation that counts no fewer than three Orthodox churches, plus a Greek Orthodox community that recognized the pope's authority, the trouble in the Caucasus may this time create a political earthquake with enormous consequences."
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