USA-Georgia: promising does not mean marriage10.09.2010 | 13:11
Hardly had the United States taken a break in relationships with Georgia when Sakartvelo was seized by a panic attack. Georgian politicians continue to repeat the conjuration: the USA won't abandon the republic. Washington did some thinking and sent deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian issues Tina Kaidanov. Later it was Hillary Clinton speaking on Georgian issue.
With the advent of Barack Obama US-Georgian relations turned a new page in their history. Miskhiko, so accustomed to his friendship with Bush, has to adjust himself to the new US leader's strategy, not without disappointment though. And the strategy, it seems, does not envisage warm ties with Tbilisi.
Certainly Georgia continues to be the States' strategic foothold in Caucasus: Washington simply can't afford losing the geopolitical struggle in the essential region. However, Saakashvili and his problems are not on top of the priority list of the White House's new administration.
Stuck in gorges of Afghanistan Pentagon is seriously thinking of global security and terrorist threats. Naturally, the States simply can't solve such a problem without Russia despite all influence of the overseas machine. Over the recent time Russian and US leaders have held several meetings. Declared "reset" has had an impact on NATO-Russia council's activity - virtually frozen in the aftermath of August events in 2008.
In view of teething US-Russian rapprochement a number of politicians stated this winter that Washington-Tbilisi relations had started to cool off. Sergey Mikheev, deputy director general of Center for Political Technologies Foundation remarked that de facto the USA acknowledge the current situation in Caucasus and consider today's reality. Eugeny Minchenko, head of International Institute for Political Expertise suggested that the model of US neo-Conservatives to build up a sanitary cordon around Russia had turned out invalid, and Obama renounced this strategy as part of the "reset". "Americans declared support for Georgia's territorial integrity as early as in August 2008 but Washington won't do anything to bring these territories back", - Minchenko remarks.
As for Georgia, it continues to cheer itself despite badly digested "reset". For instance, Sakartvelo's ambassador to the United States Batu Kutelia stated recently that Washington would never change its stand on Abkhazia and South Ossetia as "occupied territories". "America won't start a nuclear war against Russia, but neither will it put up with the current state if things", - Caucasian Information Portal quotes.
I guess Washington realizes that the White House is still responsible for those whom they have tamed. By all appearances, this is what stands behind US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's latest statement: the thaw with Russia does not mean that issues the countries disagree on, including Georgia, should be hushed down.
But as we know words and deeds differ. Besides the USA can repeat their position as often as they want but in reality there is an impression that Washington is gradually alienating itself from Georgia and its unbalanced leader.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent spoke about an outlook for US-Georgian relations with Valery Khmyakov, the National Strategy Council director general. The politologist agrees that cool-off between Washington and Tbilisi has indeed begun. Still, he does not account it for the reset the USA and Russia announced. "If Georgian politicians think so, this looks like overestimation of their significance. Georgia is not so grand a figure in the world for Americans to consider its relations with Moscow. - Khomyakov thinks. - The cool-off is started by pragmatic politicians, now governing in the USA, so now Georgia is no more a desired element of anti-Russian policy like it used to be with the old administration".
According to the expert, Barack Obama and his advisers are perfectly aware there's no point in irritating Russia because of Georgia. "Yes, the principles of support for the republic's territorial integrity remain. But Russia too had maintained them before civilians died. After that it was no more possible to stand on the sidelines. By the way, the world community starts to make such conclusions too", - Khomyakov added.
In conclusion the National Strategy Council director added that in the near future neither the USA nor NATO or the European Union will renounce Caucasus. "Now, however, this is not a key issue in relations with Russia. There are other global problems waiting to be solved together with Moscow", - he highlighted.