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The West: from cheap politics to sound pragmatism?2009-08-10 23:50
A year after tragic August events the West has a different vision of those 5 days. The criticism of Russia has calmed down as have the calls to revoke the decision on recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence. Where do all these changes come from?
"The way European politicians, experts and many Western journalists perceive the conflict in South Ossetia has definitely changed over the period since August 2008, Tatiana Zhdanok, a European Parliament deputy from Latvia who delivered her speech at Brussels conference "South Ossetia: five days in August" is quoted by RIA Novosti. - They just can't be as bold as to be on former ground after incontestable facts and proofs of those 5 war days were presented". Curiously enough the deputy makes this statement before the results of the international commission investigating into the August events have been promulgated. Apparently Europeans are already sure that Heidi Tagliavini's statement will not be in favor of Mikheil Saakashvili.
Nevertheless according to Tatiana Zhdanok European mindset is practically unchanged. "On the days of August war Saakashvili and official Tbilisi succeeded in publicity and PR, they were often featured on Western TV and in other media, - she says. - And the first information that poured out on screens and pages of the Western media a year ago is cemented in minds of common Europeans". However, she believes, over time the political elite and expert community reached consensus on Saakashvili's actions in the South Ossetian conflict and on the real initiator of this war. "Over the past year many Western journalists could go to Tskhinval and see with their own eyes the reality of what happened, to talk to the locals and witnesses of the events, - she remarked. - As a result there emerged a whole series of publications in Western press that played an important part in refutation of the information presented to the Western community by the Georgian side".
Johan Beikman, a political writer (Finland) shares Tatiana Zhdanok's opinion. He believes the "Russophobic wave" the West was taken over last August has been replaced by an objective situation. "Saakashvili's reputation has been greatly affected, and now new public opinion is being created on the issue", - Beikman remarked.
Reconsideration in the West is also confirmed by RF Plenipotentiary on Human Rights Vladimir Lukin. "It is acknowledged in Europe that Georgia started the war in South Ossetia", - ITAR-TASS quotes.