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Ukrainian and Georgian NATO steps
Material posted: Publication date: 03-08-2014

The article examines the tactical role of Georgia and Ukraine in the geopolitical confrontation between Russia and NATO. Given the retrospective and systematic analysis of playing by Brussels Georgian card in August 2008. In the end proves the thesis about the instrumental role of Ukraine as a second attempt by NATO to promote military infrastructure of the Alliance closer to Russia's borders.

The Georgian script

Speaking about the development of events in Georgia in August 2008, the conduct of Russia's peacekeeping operation in Tskhinvali, which resulted in the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, we should not lose sight of the context of what is happening. It is about the relationship between Moscow and Brussels on the issues of NATO expansion to Russia's borders. At first glance it may seem that everything is simple and logical. NATO attacks, Russia defends himself. But, nevertheless, the appeal solely in terms of the "expansion-reflection", jeopardizes the realization of the whole essence of this complex political game. To avoid this, one must clearly understand that Georgian component in relations between Russia and NATO has sharply deteriorated in 2008, subject to the analysis. In this article, the elements of the system are the events that led to the August war and that cannot be overlooked or be considered detached from the entire logic of the events in Georgia.

The Kosovo precedent

Unilateral Declaration of independence by Kosovo on 17 February 2008 and the ambiguous reaction of the world community, some of whom acknowledged the decision (USA, Germany), and some were strongly against (Russia), worsened by the conflict key foreign policy players in the international legal field. Moscow accused the West of trying unilateral interpretations of the norms and principles of international law, and warned of the emergence of a dangerous legal precedent that the Kremlin could use (and, as we shall see, used) in its policy towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Moreover, Deputy press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov described the recognition of Kosovo's independence "illegitimate act, because it is deeply contrary resolution, resolution 1244, the resolution of the UN Security Council, contradicted the Helsinki final act"[1]. Thus, it is, by and large, untied Moscow's hands in the process of recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, recognition of which Vladimir Putin called "the only solution"[2]. Later we will see that Russia once again resorted to the Kosovo precedent, but on the example of Crimea.

Thus, the contradictions and differences of Western countries and Russia in the international legal field has led to a unilateral interpretation of the norms and principles of international law has been used by both parties as an instrument of cover up to achieve their own political goals. It showed that the strength prevailed over the law and national interests were more important than the once prisoners international legal agreement.

The summit of NATO in Bucharest

The next event deserving of our attention, occurred on April 2-4 in the Romanian capital, where he held a summit of NATO countries. During this summit, member countries of the Alliance was postponed granting Ukraine and Georgia the status of candidate that, in the first sense, would have to satisfy Moscow. However, was used rather vague interpretation that Ukraine and Georgia "will be accepted in NATO"[3]. This wording may be interpreted and treated differently. In Kiev and Tbilisi, it was seen as a signal that Ukraine and Georgia the road to Brussels was open, we only have to wait a little time and a European place come true. At the same time, the Kremlin decided that this development is contrary to the national security of Russia, that Moscow will not tolerate the presence of hostile military-political Alliance near its borders, and, especially, in Georgia and Ukraine, considered the closest political, cultural and historical countries.

Russia's concerns about the entry of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO was perfectly justified. Thus, Moscow realized that military confrontation with NATO will soon begin. It remains only to wait, which direction the kick will choose in Brussels: the Georgian or Ukrainian.

The visit of Condoleezza rice to Tbilisi

Another important event was the visit of the U.S. Secretary of state Condoleezza rice to Tbilisi in July 2008, shortly before the war. During his stay in the capital of Georgia and the conversation with President M. Saakashvili, Ms. rice stressed the importance of democratic reforms in Georgia and made a speech, the main content of which can be reduced to the fact that America never abandoned and will not leave in trouble their allies. Again we are faced with a fairly vague statement, although this time both Moscow and Tbilisi understand it, in fact, identical. In Georgia decided that the diplomatic support of the West secured, and it is time to start to become more active in solving territorial problems in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In addition, in Tbilisi believed the words of Secretary rice, and hoped, if necessary, military support of NATO.

At the same time in the Kremlin understood that the situation was escalating. Moscow realized that the whole complex of international legal and diplomatic decisions and efforts of NATO countries will soon lead to the establishment of military bases in Georgia. However, after the visit of Condoleezza rice to Tbilisi, it was absolutely clear, whence to wait for the blow and where to draw down troops.

Before the August 2008 war, during which Russia harshly through force will stop the expansion of NATO to its borders and prevent the accession of Georgia to the Alliance, was nigh at hand. The course of events well, though in different ways, was highlighted in the Russian and Western press. But, nevertheless, the result is all well known. Russia managed to win the battle but not yet the war. NATO will not leave the hope to strike a geopolitical defeat his Kremlin opponent and for this, some time later, will make a second attempt to broaden the political and geographical boundaries of the Alliance. This time the blow will be struck from the Ukraine that will lead to further aggravation of relations between Russia and NATO.

The Ukrainian card in the geopolitical game

After unsuccessful attempts by NATO to play the Georgian map, the Alliance decided to focus on other foreign policy direction. After the summit in Bucharest was still one field for maneuver. The choice fell on Ukraine, and it is in this country Western strategists have begun to set the stage for a decisive blow.

Georgia and Ukraine are the two interrelated phases of NATO expansion strategies. But, nevertheless, the Ukrainian events have their own distinctive settings. First, the activity of the Alliance was launched in the country, which is of particular importance for Russia. Geopolitical status of Ukraine also plays an important role as a buffer between East and West, for a long time held both sides of the confrontation. NATO's attempt to change the foreign policy vector Kiev, give it a Pro-Western and anti-Russian character, could not but cause concern Kremlin. Moreover, given the sad experience of Georgia, in Brussels it was decided to develop its offensive, affecting the most sick and vulnerable to Russia's problems and issues, primarily the status of the Russian language and the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine.

After the refusal of President Yanukovych to sign the Association agreement with the European Union flared up in Kiev. The West has made every effort to ensure that the authorities in Ukraine to bring loyal people who would go with him on all agreements, including those relating to the entry into West European security structures. At the same time, it is no secret, in Brussels, looked enviously on the Crimea, to which they gave important military, geostrategic and geopolitical importance, due to the presence on the Peninsula naval base. In Moscow immediately realized that Ukraine – this is the second attempt by NATO to take revenge for Georgia.

After clashes between radical supporters of Ukraine's integration with the EU with fighters of division "Golden eagle" in Kiev and the overthrow of Yanukovych's government has created a situation that threatens not only the situation of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, but also the security interests of Russia. In Moscow, guided by the will of the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, it was decided to reunification of the Crimea with Russia. And again for the international legal justification of this decision was used a precedent with Kosovo. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation noted: "Why is it that the Albanians in Kosovo, and we treat them with respect, not the Russians, or the Ukrainians in Crimea?"[4]. It may seem that Ukraine has fully repeated the same stages that occurred in Georgia. But, however, it was not so.

Ukrainian development had its own peculiarities in contrast to the Georgian scenario. First, it was held (and is still) much longer. Secondly, in Ukraine there is a fundamental problem, expressed by the presence of two opposite foreign policy actors: the Western Ukraine, which was the basis of Brussels, and the Eastern Ukraine, historically and culturally focused on Rossi. Thirdly, the foreign policy activity of NATO was deployed in fraternal for Russia. Moscow could not bear to look at what is in Ukraine's Russian-speaking population would play the role of second-class citizens. At the same time, Moscow could not fail to respond to the coming to power in Kiev of anti-Russian right-wing forces seeking to radically change the foreign policy of Ukraine. Fourthly, NATO policy, especially after the annexation of Crimea by Russia, is extremely intensified, which clearly showed the events in Odessa in may 2014. This heinous crime can be characterized as a preemptive strike by the West to prevent of Odessa, which also has a large number of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking population to join Russia.

In the further course of development of events is quite clear. Civil war in the South-East of Ukraine, the downed plane in the sky over the Donbas, where the West immediately, without waiting for the results of the investigation, accused Russia. About how resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, and who will come out of it a winner, pretty hard to predict. One thing is clear, Russia has to keep Ukraine. NATO purpose is quite the opposite. What are the scenarios for resolution of the Ukrainian crisis?

Now in scientific and expert circles there is an opinion that Russia is trying to draw the war in Ukraine. In this game of nerves can only be one winner. Use the experience of Georgia, in Brussels can clearly declare that they are glad to see Kiev in the NATO ranks. Then there is no doubt that the next day, Russian troops appear in Lugansk and Donetsk. But it is unlikely the West will come to the decision because in such a case, it is obvious that a new war against NATO expansion can not be avoided. At the same time in Brussels understand that the Ukrainian army, though, and received a certain experience of participation in hostilities in Southeast Ukraine, can not cope with the Russian troops. On the other hand, a military "aggression" of Russia against Kiev could unleash Washington and its Western allies hands in the introduction of the new sectoral sanctions.

For NATO the most favourable scenario would be such development of the situation in which the Kiev authorities will be able to cope with the militia in Lugansk and Donetsk. However, it threatens the deterioration of relations between Kiev and Moscow, as the Kremlin will not calmly look at the infringement of the rights Russian-speaking population and the creation of such conditions for damage to their life and health.

The most favorable, in my opinion, scenario would be one in which will reach military parity between the warring parties, which will serve as the basis for the creation of the political balance in Ukraine. How long is it going to stop Kiev from joining NATO? It's safe to say that in the medium term for sure. What's next? How to wait for the next blow? Armenia? Azerbaijan? Or again Ukraine? In any case, Russia should understand that it would not have solved the Ukrainian crisis, NATO will not stop its attempts to expand its borders at the expense of new members. To avoid this, Moscow needs to determine possible ways of occurrence. First, to continue to work in Ukraine, aimed at creating Pro-Russian political structure in Kiev. Secondly, to make efforts on the formation of non-aligned status of Ukraine. Thirdly, as for Armenia, it is beneficial for Russia to take that country into the Eurasian Economic Union and to establish conditions under which Yerevan would be beneficial to conduct a Pro-Russian policy.

The more complex the situation is with Azerbaijan. To Baku, Moscow should be subtle and balanced diplomacy. First of all, it concerns the development of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. In this question Russia should focus its efforts on the preservation of a stable situation on this issue. In case if Russia will support Armenia, it threatens the development of a more clear Pro-Western foreign policy of Azerbaijan. And Vice versa.

Of course, there is a serious geopolitical game in which the stakes are very high. This requires Moscow measured steps and decisions that could create such conditions in which the onset of NATO to the East will be stopped, and Russia's national interests will be taken into account.

 

The list of istochnikov

1. Newspaper news//http://izvestia.EN/news/567703

2. Business newspaper Взгляд//http://www.vz.ru/news/2008/4/4/157338.html

3. The Kremlin announced the recognition of Kosovo's independence as illegitimate актом/NEWSru.com//http://www.newsru.com/russia/17feb2008/kreml_print.html

4. RIA Новости//http://ria.ru/world/20130826/958574072.html

 

__________

 

[1] the Kremlin announced the recognition of Kosovo's independence as illegitimate актом/NEWSru.com//http://www.newsru.com/russia/17feb2008/kreml_print.html

[2] RIA Новости//http://ria.ru/world/20130826/958574072.html

[3] Business newspaper Взгляд//http://www.vz.ru/news/2008/4/4/157338.html

[4] the Newspaper news//http://izvestia.EN/news/567703

 

Sergei Ignatyev

Tags: Russia , USA , Europe , NATO , Ukraina , Georgia


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