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South Ossetia goal is to be absorbed into Russia

As the parliament of Georgia voted to approve closing the nation’s embassy in Moscow and severing diplomatic ties with Russia, officials in the breakaway territory of South Ossetia are stating that their ultimate goal is not independence, but to be absorbed into Russia.

Znaur Gassiyev, the speaker in the parliament of South Ossetia, said today in Tskhinvali, the capital, that the region will be annexed by Russia “in several years” or earlier. He further went on that this was the position of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity, who met earlier this week to discuss the future of South Ossetia. Ultimately, South Ossetia would be joined with the Russian federal subject of North Ossetia-Alania. Read More…

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Pro-American Georgian government under Saakashvili

Georgij Chaindrawa, a former minister of Georgian President Mikheil Saakasvili’s goverment, who was in charge of dealing with the conflicts with Abchasia and Ossetia until 2006, accuses Saakashvili of undemocratic behaviour and war mongering.

In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, Georgij Chaindrawa accuses the United States administration of creating a pro-American Georgian government under Saakashvili.

According to Chaindrawa, Saakashvili’s government bears little resemblance to a democracy. Rather, Chaindrawa claims that the government of Georgia is a totalitarian regime that suppresses civil liberties and the freedom of the press, somewhat similar to the Russian government policies of Vladimir Putin. Read More…

Biden’s Georgia visit

Upon the request of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Senator Joe Biden of Delaware made a visit to the Republic of Georgia, which is currently under seige by Russia. Biden is considered to be a top choice on Barack Obama‘s list for presidential running mates because of his foreign policy expertises and 35 years of experience in the United States Senate.

United States Senate

Senator Joe Biden

His trip increased speculation about Obama’s selection, although Biden stated that the aim of the trip is “to get the facts first-hand and to show [his] support for Georgia’s people and its democratically-elected government.” Obama staffers confirmed that they had discussed the trip with Biden staffers before he left.

Biden met with President Saakashvili to discuss Georgia’s situation, thereby allowing Biden to gather and transmit the information obtained during that meeting to the Senate as part of his duty as the Foreign Relations chairman.

Georgia was invaded by Russia over the disputed territory of South Ossetia. The two nations signed a cease-fire and Russia has claimed that it has started to withdraw its troops to South Ossetia. Georgian and American officials have doubted this claim. So far in the armed conflict, 197 Georgian soldiers and 74 Russian soldiers have been reported dead. As many as 115,000 people have been displaced because of the fighting. Read More…

Merkel: Georgia will join NATO

“Georgia will become a NATO member if it wants to, and it does want to,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an apparent change in Germany‘s position during her Sunday visit to Tbilisi, Georgia. Merkel’s statement of support for Georgia’s NATO membership was one of the strongest yet. Tbilisi’s bid to join NATO is fiercely opposed by Moscow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

During her meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Merkel stated that Georgia’s territorial integrity and its independence have to be respected. After the meeting Merkel said she expected a very prompt withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgia.

In a telephone conversation with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev declared that Russian troops would start their pullout from Georgia on Monday. Medvedev explained that Russian troops would be withdrawing to a buffer zone and then to the breakaway province of South Ossetia. It remains unclear how long the withdrawal will take. Read More…

Russia signed the ceasefire agreement

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev followed the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili and signed the ceasefire agreement on Saturday. The peace plan document was originally drafted by Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France. Medvedev announced having signed the document during a meeting of the Russian Security Council.

Dmitry Medvedev at World Economic Forum

Dmitry Medvedev at World Economic Forum

The truce was signed by Saakashvili on Friday, after a long meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Following the meeting, a press conference was held in which Saakashvili stated that he had signed the accord. But he pointed out that “this is not a done deal. We need to do our utmost to deter such behaviour in the future.”

By signing the agreement, both sides agree to pull back their forces to pre-conflict positions. Rice has demanded that Russian forces withdraw from Georgia immediately. The accord also provides protection for Georgia and a “reconstruction plan”, as well as allowing certain concessions to Russia. Read More…

Rice’s ceasefire signed in Georgian-Russian conflict

The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili had signed a ceasefire agreement today in the presence of United States (US) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

An identical document, requiring the immediate withdrawal of all Russian forces from Georgian soil, was signed earlier this week, according to the New York Times, by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Saakashvili stated that Georgia would “never, ever surrender” to Russia. The ceasefire document was originally drafted by Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France. Read More…

US forces to deliver Georgia aid

George W. Bush, the President of the United States, has announced that his country will “begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military.”

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Speaking at 11:10 EDT (15:10 UTC) today, Bush also said that “the United States of America stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia. We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected.”

According to Bush, the planned aid mission will be “vigorous and ongoing.” Read More…