Saturday, 16 August 2008

A new cold war in Europe?

The coverage of the recent war in Georgia has been variable, some of the comments on websites are bizarre. Some defend Russia for attacking Georgia, an independent country. Others attack Bush, which seems a little odd, he has some influence but it can't all be his fault.

A brief resume; within Georgia are some areas that wish to become separate, including South Ossetia and Abkhazia. (North Ossetia is within neighbouring Russia). Russia's Interfaxe news agency cited local officials as it reported that Georgian forces shelled the South Ossetian capital early today - killing three Russian peacekeepers and wounding 18 others. While Georgia has acted in some way in South Ossetia, it will probably be legitimate as its within its own country. On the other hand Russia bombed several areas of Georgia and sent troops in, using the sort of excuse often given by the USA in similar circumstances, to protect their own people. This is not legitimate, and is surely an act of war. Many innocent people were killed, in my view Putin should be tried as a war criminal for this act of murder. And lets not forget the murder of ex-KGB agent Andrei Litvinenko in London.

So why do some people blame the USA? The leader of Georgia is pro USA, and a pipeline carrying (you guessed it) Oil to the west. Also there is talk of Georgia joining NATO and missiles being sited their. Now its possible Russia could feel threatened by this, but bear in mind it has had missiles pointed at the west for decades. In the same region is Chechnya, where Russia has been fighting for the last few years.

In this other countries have expressed strong opinions, France has brokered the cease fire, Cameron has flown to Tiblisi. But Brown has not sent a government minister or even convened a formal press conference on the issue himself. Bush, Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have taken the lead with only brief statements from Brown and Miliband. Brown said he had told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev "very directly" that "Russian aggression" has been condemned throughout the world. Thats telling em Gordo!

So a cold war? Russia is no longer a superpower, so this seems unlikely. But Russia is once again flexing its military might. I suspect it will get its own way, but this is more to do with its energy suppliers to much of Europe.

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