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Georgia as a pinch point between Russia and USA2010-07-22 18:27
Putting Russia and Georgia on the scale of US interests known for its pragmatism up to cynicism, what country will it choose to cooperate with in the first place? Barack Obama recently stated that differences over Georgia must not hinder cooperation between Washington and Moscow. Georgian opposition represented by Nino Burdzhanadze thinks that this statement shows change in US attitude toward Georgian authorities confirming failure of the Saakashvili regime that loses its major patron in the world arena. Is it really so?
So far there are no signs that our positions on South Caucasus are similar as confirmed by the board of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs analyzing the current state and prospects of Russian-US relations.
This is what the final statement reads: "Recognizing and supporting increase in achieved positive effect, the board has also analyzed remaining pinch points and differences over approaches in a number of issues of bilateral and international relations including retarded cooperation in economic, energy and investment spheres, unresolved issue of eliminating artificial barriers in trade, possibility of global expansion of US ABM plans, NATO problems, some aspects of rights defense, energy security, assessment of the situation around Georgia".
Let's focus on Georgia, leaving other pinch points behind. The USA have no strategy toward Russia, neither have they a trump card to influence the situation: Saakashvili has smashed everything. That is why the States need to control Moscow indirectly or invite it to partnership. "Reset" looks hardly believable. If we stop juggling with the words and recall how many there were and what they all led to...
Our leadership has always made efforts to get closer to the USA hoping for equal partnership and equal role in global politics. Americans did it with reluctance or didn't do it at all knowing what it means to be equal partners. As a result, Moscow changed tonality and intonation toward the White House. A harsh political line was formed accompanied by the statements on impudent behavior of the States.
This political cycle was supposed to be repeated with D. Medvedev as a new president. Washington waited for new concessions while we were quickly disillusioned. However, the habitual political rhythm was interrupted in August 2008 in view of the events in Transcaucasia.
In Moscow the developments around South Ossetia when the Georgian side unleashed intensive hostilities with the use of all available heavy armaments and aviation naturally led to the crisis of trust toward the US elite whose actions reminded their behavior before and during the six-day war in the Middle east in 1967. Then Washington also called for self-control and preservation of peace but in reality switched on the "green light" to Israel in the conflict escalation.
Unexpectedly explicit manifestation of will by Russian leaders and dosing in use of force in Caucasus had a sobering impact on Western politicians.
The tonality of statements by political figures of both states changed. US officials demonstrate readiness to discuss vital topics of world politics with Moscow. Vice President J. Biden makes a statement on security and "reset" in US-Russian relations at a conference in Munich. B. Obama holds "setting" talks with D. Medvedev in London at the G20 summit and decides to come to Moscow on an official visit in July 2009 publicly demonstrating the administration's attention to Russian direction of politics.