Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili speaks during a rally in Tbilisi August 12, 2008. At least 150,000 protesters cheered Saakashvili outside Georgia’s parliament on Tuesday, backing him in Georgia’s confrontation with Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia
“The aim of the operation has been achieved,” Medvedev said in televised remarks. “…The aggressor has been punished and has suffered very considerable losses.”
Close U.S. ally Georgia entered conflict with Russia last week after launching an offensive to retake the pro-Russian region of South Ossetia, which broke away from Georgian rule in 1992. Moscow responded with a huge counter-offensive.
Medvedev set two conditions for a full settlement of the conflict: Georgian troops had to return to their initial positions and be partly demilitarized, and a binding agreement had to be signed on the non-use of force.
It was not immediately clear whether Georgia would agree to these conditions.
It is clear the West underestimated Russian resolve to secure the oil and gas pipelines in the Caucuasus region and to exert its hegemony over its previous satellite states.
The United States should immediatey push for the following:
- Expel Russia from the G-8
- Oppose Russia membership in the World Trade Organization
- Tighten Russia visa requirements for travel to the United States
- Fast track Ukraine AND Georgia membership in NATO
- Proceed in an expedited fashion the deployment of national missile defense components in the Czech Republic and Poland
Looks like a new Cold War with Russia, folks.
And, the United Nations – utterly useless.