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“We Will Not Give Up On Georgia” – New Cold War between the U.S. and Russia

“We Will Not Give Up On Georgia” – New Cold War between the U.S. and Russia

Posted December. 05, 2003 22:49,   


The United States and Russia are entering into another “Second Cold War” in Georgia, the former constituent of Soviet Union located in the Kavkaz Mountains in central Asia.

The Russian daily, Izvestiya, reported on Thursday, “A new cold war has begun in Georgia.” Taking the resignation of former president Eduard Shevardnadze as momentum, the two super powers entered a competition to place Georgia under their respective influences. Although the population in Georgia is only 5.5 million, Georgia is located at an important spot connecting Europe and central Asia, and at a strategic delivery point of the oil which flows out from the Caspi petroleum fields and into Europe.

The U.S. set down to “Freeze Russia Out” – Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, suddenly visited Georgia on Friday. Rumsfeld is scheduled to meet with the interim president, Nino Burdzhanadzeand, and the leader of the main opposition party, Mikhail Saakashvili, a strong candidate for the upcoming presidential election in January 2004.

Prior to this visit, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Lynn Pascoe had visited Georgia. With the continuous visits by senior U.S. officials to Georgia, the U.S. is setting forth its growing concerns of the central Asian country. During Pascoe’s visit, even George W. Bush sent his consolations with a signed letter to the former president, Eduard Shevardnadze, who voluntarily resigned from the presidency.

The U.S., under suspicion of supporting the civil revolution which brought about the resignation of Shevardnadze in November, shows its firm intention, stating that “We will set up a pro-U.S. government in Georgia at any cost,” making use of economic support as a good excuse, analyzed the foreign news services.

On the other hand, the U.S. is pressuring Russia now at the most intensive level since the Cold War tension lifted in the early 1990s. On November 2, the U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, urged the Russian military stationed at Georgia to leave the country immediately and for Russia to cease its meddling in Georgia’s domestic affairs.

Russia Down to “Defend Georgia” – Russia is being pressured by the U.S.’ diplomatic offensive. On November 4, the vice chairman of the Russian lower chamber, Vladimir Rukin, who used to be the ambassador to the U.S., cautioned that “If Georgia doesn’t keep friendly diplomatic relations with Russia, Georgia will be broken up into pieces.” It was a threat that Russia will parcel the territory of Georgia if it walks out of Russian influences.

The three self-governing republics in Georgia--South Ossetia, Adzhara and Abkhazia-- are backed up with the protection and support from Russia, virtually out of the central Georgian government’s control. As for Russia, if the next regime of Georgia begins a “Russia-Out” movement in earnest, Russia may use the “Georgia Dissolution” option.

As for the request of the U.S., “Come through with the promise,” Russia, which promised to move its military out of Georgia in 1999, answered, “We have political intentions to withdraw our troops from Georgia.” (Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Vladimir Chizov) But, a senior Russian military official said, “We will be stationed in Georgia for 10 more years,” revealing that it does not plan to leave Georgia.

However, if the U.S. makes use of the large scale economic support in order to advance into Georgia, Russia will have any appropriate countermeasures to deal with the U.S.’ inroad into Georgia.

Ki-Hyun Kim kimkihy@donga.com