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U.S. expert makes a forecast for Georgia2009-04-14 14:30
Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, will not manage to implement his plans on resumption of the armed conflict with Abkhazia and South Ossetia to distract attention from the domestic problems, said Lincoln Mitchell, a leading U.S. expert on Georgia at Columbia University - RIA Novosti.gt-en-newsitem-inside
According to the expert, the threat of combat actions in Caucasus resumption decreased significantly, but still exists.
"Every day I have less concern. Not to say that it's impossible. It would be terrible for Georgia and terrible for the United States. But I think that right now what we're seeing in Tbilisi this week and the last few months is that no one is going to fall for that kind of ‘Wag the Dog' scenario. No one is going to fall for it. They're unlikely to do that, and that speaks for the sophistication of the Georgian people. And I would suspect that the president of Georgia and the leadership of Georgia understand that", said Mitchell, who in the times of the Rose revolution headed the Tbilisi representative office of the U.S. National Democratic Institute.
"On the other hand, further Russian aggression can't go unanswered. So I think - is it possible that Russia could provoke Georgia again, seeing its weakness? I think that in the long run that would be a really bad mistake for Russia. I think Russia overplayed their hand in this war in August, and lost a lot of support. I think that we have a chance that at least for now the chance of re-escalating that conflict is less then it was three months ago", Mitchell added.
The expert believes that if any provocations occur, and Russin will "go another few kilometers into Georgia" it "would be terrible, a big mistake through which Russia would demonstrate to the West that it is simply an aggressive imperialist power again".
"And what would be achieved is that all those comments Saakashvili has been making about Russian aggression would become accepted in the West as unquestionable. And this would jeopardize any kind of rapprochement between our two countries" Lincoln Mitchell concluded.