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Does the world need war in the Caucasus?07.09.2009 | 17:09
Another international scandal is going to break out in the Black Sea water zone. Yesterday, Russia warned the Georgian authorities against the detention of the third country ships near the Abkhaz cost. A warning speech was delivered by official representative of the Russian MFA Andrey Nesterenko. The Russian Minister of Defense General Staff officer also left open the possibility of recurrence of the August 2008 events. However, despite another wave of confrontation, some experts believe that things will not get as far as a new war in the Caucasus.
Ministry of Defense of Russia currently leaves open the possibility of Georgia trying to repeat an attempt "to restore the constitutional right" in the territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, that is, to hold an operation similar to the one held in August 2008, said Deputy Head of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces General-Colonel Anatoliy Nagovitsin.
"We can see that the Georgian armed forces are built up again; it means the possibility of using the "constitutional right restoration" method, as it was done by the Georgian order of August 2008 in order to apply the armed forces. The situation is the same", - Anatoliy Nagovitsin stated at the press-conference, as Kavkazskiy Uzel reports. In his opinion, Russia is currently ready to give Georgia "an adequate answer" in case of recurrence of the operation undertaken by the Georgian armed forces last August in the territory of South Ossetia.
South-Ossetian President's Special Envoy for Negotiation Process Boris Chochiev in his interview given to Ossetian Radio on the possibility of recurrence of the August 2008 events in South Ossetia underlined that last August Russia forced Georgia to peace, while now it is necessary to force President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili to give the guarantee of non-aggression against South Ossetia.
"He has given this kind of guarantee to Abkhazia. During the August events Mikhail Saakashvili wrote to Nikolas Sarkozi that he would not attack Abkhazia but he has given no such guarantees to South Ossetia. We have applied to the international community so that it pressed Mikhail Saakashvili to assume a liability of non-aggression against South Ossetia", - Boris Chochiev stated.
On the same day, the Russian MFA warned the Georgian authorities against ships detention near the coast of Abkhazia. According to radio station Echo of Moscow, Andrey Nesterenko referred to ship detention by the Georgian naval forces as to "the act of total lawlessness". The diplomat called Georgian actions an "attempt to set up a sea blockade of the Abkhaz coast", having underlined that such actions "may cause the aggravation of the military and political situation in the region and lead to serious armed incidents".
Tbilisi was quick to answer back. Today, Chairman of the interim parliamentary committee on restoring Georgia's territorial integrity Shota Malashkhia stated that if Russia really wants new aggression it will instantly bring forward a physical response from Georgia and the reaction of the international community. According to the Georgian media, this was the answer given by Malashkhia to Nesterenko's statement.
Despite a new wave of confrontation and quite a stiff dialogue between Moscow and Tbilisi officials, the majority of experts, both the Georgian and foreign ones, do not rule out the possibility of resuming military actions in the Caucasus. Moreover, some of them also suppose that Moscow and Washington have reached certain agreements as to the Caucasus, so the peace here is only a matter of time.
Such version of the analysts was grounded by today's words of the US Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft (this is actually Tefft's farewell statement, for his diplomatic service in Georgia is over - ed.) that the US hope for the soon opening of the border between RF and Georgia. According to VZGLYAD newspaper, Tefft made his statement during the ceremony of opening the Kazbegi - Verkhny Lars checkpoint that was constructed with the US' financial help.
Checkpoint Verkhny Lars was closed for repairs in summer 2006. In May 2009, the Russian party stated that the reconstruction was completed and that the road could be opened. However, Tbilisi thought it meaningless to open the road considering the interrupted diplomatic relationship between Russia and Georgia. The truth, however, is that during his visit to Yerevan (in connection with closing the Verkhniy Lars checkpoint, Armenia may transport cargos from Russia only by air - ed.), the president of Georgia assured: "The Georgian party is ready to open the road in case Russia agrees to do it. I am ready to discuss this matter with Russia. As to us, we are ready to open the road not only for cargo carriage but for the passenger traffic as well".