Sunday, September 21, 2008

“Business as usual”

Etnic cleansing formalized

Eduard Kokoity, the South Ossetian separatist leader, stated that Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) could return to their homes in the villages where they have been subjected to burning, looting and killings by the separatists and Russians ONLY if they abandon Georgian citizenship and become South Ossetians (Civil Georgia, 20.09.2008):

“As far as ethnic Georgians, who lived on the territories occupied by Georgia [referring to Georgian villages inside the breakaway region] are concerned, we are giving them such an opportunity [to return], but let them give up the Georgian citizenship and take the citizenship of the Republic of South Ossetia.” ( Georgia Online 19. september)

The September agreement reached between the Russian and French presidents says that “return of refugees based on the internationally recognized principles and practice of post-conflict settlement” will be discussed during the international discussions. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on August 17 that although return of displaced persons and refugees was guaranteed under the international law, it “as a rule is a long process.”

Things are lightening up for Putin
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) from Radio Free Europe September 20, 2008 - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said talks on a Russia-EU pact, postponed after Russia's invasion in Georgia, could resume in early October.

"The EU position is clear: We hope the talks will resume as soon as the provisions of the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan are carried out," Fillon told a news conference after talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The pact is due to regulate relations in the energy sector and on trade. This EU deal is important for Putin in order to prohibit the US from forming a united front with the EU to put joint pressure on Moscow.

Russia and France have put aside disagreements over the August war in Georgia in a move to promote bilateral relations, especially in key energy projects, judging by Fillon's statements in Sochi. The final document of the meeting said the two countries will focus on developing relations in the high-tech, energy, and space sectors, including cooperation in developing the Shtokman gas field and a joint project to launch Soyuz spacecrafts from a French launching pad. "We will conduct with Russia a direct and tight dialogue of true partners. Differences happen, indeed, but they should be resolved through a dialogue," he told the gathering of government officials and businessmen co-chaired by Putin. Putin said relations with France were not affected by the Georgian crisis.
"I believe the events in the Caucasus did not affect our cooperation in any way," Putin said. No projects have been put off or suspended between France and Russia in the wake of the Georgia conflict. (Civil Georgia, 21.09.2008)

”Business as usual”
To me this looks like “business as usual”, and that France, like I all the time have believed, not only brokered a poor ceasefire agreement, but also uses this as an opportunity to establish closer ties with Russia as if nothing has happened. But then EU is about business, and not about human interests or ideology. We should bare that in mind too when assessing Germanys statement that “Saakashvili was not little to blame” in the conflict that erupted in august. This is a wrong assumption if you draw the timeline a bit further than the August 2008. In the light of all the provocations, recent military build-up in Abkhazia, sanctions and violations imposed to Georgia, and Georgians in Russia during the period from 2003-2008, this is only a convenient stand opening for German business talks with Russia. It is wise to remember that former chansellor Gerhard Schroeder, now employed by Gazprom and Putins hubby, still have some influential contacts within politics and business in Germany.
Finally Putin also decided to celebrate his budget of 27% increase in military budget by sending a brand new nuclear rocket, thoroughly exploding on the Kamchatka peninsula.

The question is: Who cares?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm... that's why I fear France, Germany and others (f ex Berlusconi's Italy) no less than Putin's Russia.

No way ...

Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:15:00 pm  

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