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Washington’s resolution to feed Tbilisi2011-08-03 12:59
The Russian ministry of foreign affairs is enraged by the US Senate's resolution recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as territories "occupied" by Russia. Calling the document "a broken record" Moscow offers an unexpectedly harsh reaction to Washington's predictable position. Will all that hamper Russian-American "reset"?
US Senate is not the first and, most probably, not the last body that adopts a declaration on Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Russia-"occupied" territories. Putting all we know about Washington's foreign policy together, it is evident: this is the only resolution the Senate could adopt.
Firstly, the States are waiting for elections with the electorate becoming particularly attentive to foreign policy. Common US citizens have not abandoned their Cold War mentality: they will surely notice the Senate's decision aimed at blocking Russia's "imperialist expansion". Especially when this decision to adopt the resolution will be the only thing the States will do to "deoccupy" Georgia. Americans won't be able to do anything except for signing a paper that Tbilisi will like.
Secondly, the US-Russian "reset" can continue for a long time, but who says that the States accept Russia's dominance in the post-Soviet space. On the contrary, Washington still believes that post-Soviet "democracies", firstly Georgian, need to be protected from the Russian Federation.
Thirdly, Tbilisi's involvement is evident in the recent events. The resolution did not appear spontaneously. Georgia had long been asking their US friends to demonstrate a precise and unambiguous attitude to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The document was pushed through by lobbyists of Georgian interests in the USA: Jeanne Shaheen, a democratic senator, and Lindsey Graham, a republican senator - leaders of the bipartisan group of support for Sakartvelo.
We have been witnessing the States' cooldown toward Georgia over the recent years. Certainly, the White House is disappointed that to see the once bright beacon of democracy turning into a new dictatorship on the outskirts of Europe. Besides, current leaders of the States are pragmatists, not idealists from George Bush Jr's administration whose foreign policy relied on a couple of slogans of the 1980s. With them Saakashvili felt at ease: he is good at using the rhetoric of "freedom values" in his relationships with America. Now all this is gone. And Misha is nostalgic about bygone days complaining that rationalism has ousted idealism from global politics.
Nonetheless, despite their attitude to Georgia the USA have a number of crucial principles: Georgia is an ally, Russia must not be allowed to become a hegemon in Caucasus, Georgia is helping in Afghanistan, etc. Why not adopt a resolution on occupation in this case?
Washington never does things without a reason. The resolution was not adopted in May, but in the run-up to the third anniversary of the August war. And it makes sense. This is the way to remember to the world community what happened in 2008 when The States, unable to offer any serious support for their strategic ally, were bitterly humiliated by Russia.