#42 - JRL 2009-145 - JRL Home
Russia's tough action in Georgia made USA think of resetting ties - pundits
August 3, 2009

The operation to force Georgia to peace after it had launched aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008 helped to strengthen Moscow's position in the Caucasus and encouraged the US administration to "reset" relations with Russia, Interfax reported on 3 August quoting Russian pundits.

"The decision by Dmitriy Medvedev about a military punishment for Georgia for attacking Russian peacekeepers has been until now the strongest decision by the Russian president. Otherwise, we would have been seeing off the departing Caucasus with a farewell glance," the report quoted Gleb Pavlovskiy, president of the Effective Policy Foundation, as saying.

In Pavlovskiy's opinion, the events of August 2008 resulted not only in the defeat of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's policy, but also in the serious defeat of the US policy in the region. "The South Caucasus is probably the only place where the Russian and US interests clash, so the downfall of Saakashvili's plans became the downfall of Washington supporting Georgia,: Pavlovskiy said as quoted by the report.

Russia's tough reaction to Georgia's aggression has brought about the new US administration's decision to start "resetting" policy towards Russia, Pavlovskiy has said.

One of the main results of the last year events in the Caucasus is the security the clarity of the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Aleksey Makarkin, deputy director of the Centre for Political Technologies, has
said. However, he believes that wide international recognition of the new states remains problematic.

"Russia has always been in sympathy with these countries and supported them. The ambiguity of the situation lied in the fact that Moscow was officially considering these territories to be part of Georgia. After the conflict in the Caucasus the relations of Russia with Abkhazia and South Ossetia have acquired clarity and the new states feel secure now, Makarkin said as quoted by the report.

In his view, chances of the wide international recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are very small. "The West that supports Georgia does not want to recognize them, neither do India and China who have problems with separatism. The CIS countries do not recognize them, even Belarus is not in a hurry to do so while continuing a political bargaining with Russia," Makarkin said.

He did not rule out that certain declarations concerning the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia may be voiced by several Latin American countries.

"Even if this does happen, it will be a pure demonstration of anti-American sentiments," the report quoted Makarkin as saying.

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