Thursday, August 28, 2008

Russia Vs Europe Now?

US : Russia Is 'Weak'

China Backs Russia In Standoff With The West

The US is now spending more than $500 billion (official and black funding) a year on its military profit machine. Worldwide, arms spending reaches into the trillions each year. None of those involved want to give up such record-breaking revenue. So the wars of the world must continue.

China Backs Russia
Russia today won support from China and Central Asian states in its standoff with the West over the Georgia conflict as the European Union said it was weighing sanctions against Moscow.

The West has strongly condemned Russia's military offensive in Georgia this month and Medvedev's decision to recognise the breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan voiced support for Russia's "active role'' in resolving the conflict in Georgia...

Yesterday, the Group of Seven industrialised powers strongly condemned Russia's recognition of the two rebel regions.

"We deplore Russia's excessive use of military force in Georgia and its continued occupation of parts of Georgia,'' said the statement from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze warned meanwhile that Russia's recognition of the regions would boomerang on Moscow.

"They will live to regret it,'' Shevardnadze said in an interview in Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, adding that the move would "encourage separatist movements within ethnically diverse Russia.''

Russia has lashed out at the West for ratcheting up tensions in the Black Sea and warned that attempts to isolate Moscow could lead to an economic backlash.

Officials said they were monitoring a growing NATO naval presence in the Black Sea...

The NeoCon propaganda flows from the usual outlets :

Russia's conflict with Georgia is the sign of a "weak" Russian nation, not a newly assertive one, and Moscow now has put its place in the world order at risk, the top U.S. diplomat for relations with the country said in an interview yesterday.

"There is a Russia narrative that 'we were weak in the '90s, but now we are back and we are not going to take it anymore.' But being angry and seeking revanchist victory is not the sign of a strong nation. It is the sign of a weak one," said Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

"Russia is going to have to come to terms with the reality it can either integrate with the world or it can be a self-isolated bully. But it can't be both. And that's a choice Russia has to have," Fried said.

... in a speech yesterday in Kiev, Ukraine, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: "Today Russia is more isolated, less trusted and less respected than two weeks ago. It has made military gains in the short term. But over time, it will feel economic and political losses."

Miliband noted that Russia's foreign exchange reserves have fallen by $16 billion and risk premiums for investing in Russia have soared since the crisis began. By contrast, when the Soviet Union attacked Czechoslovakia in 1968, "no one asked what impact its actions had on the Russian stock market. There was no Russian stock market."

Vice President Cheney, speaking to an American Legion convention in Phoenix yesterday, condemned Russia's "unjustifiable assault" on Georgia. "The Georgian people won their freedom after years of tyranny, and they can count on the friendship of the United States," he said.

Britain Vs Russia :

Britain yesterday raised the stakes in the scramble to contain Russia, pledging support for Moscow's regional rival, Ukraine, and calling on the international community to stand up to Russia's campaign to redraw the map of Europe and make it pay a higher price for its actions in Georgia.

David Miliband, the foreign secretary tipped as a future Labour party leader and potential prime minister, went to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, to deliver a speech aimed at flying the flag of western democracy on Russia's doorstep, while seeking to avert a new crisis boiling over on the Crimean peninsula, home to an ethnic Russian population and Moscow's Black Sea fleet.

The speech represented the strongest criticism of the Kremlin from a leading European government official in years, delivered in a country that is Russia's neighbour and which Russians view as the cradle of their civilisation.

Miliband declared a turning point had been reached in Europe's relations with Russia, ending a nearly two decade period of relative tranquility. He said Tuesday's decision by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, to recognise Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia represented a radical break and a moment of truth for the rest of Europe.

"[Medvedev's] unilateral attempt to redraw the map marks a moment of real significance," the foreign secretary said. "It is not just the end of the post cold war period of growing geopolitical calm in and around Europe. It is also the moment when countries are required to set out where they stand on the significant issues of nationhood and international law."

"The Georgia crisis has provided a rude awakening," the foreign secretary said. He responded to Medvedev's boast that he was not scared of a new cold war, saying: "We don't want a new cold war. He has a big responsibility not to start one."

"Europe needs to act as one when dealing with third parties like Russia," he said. To do that, the EU should invest in gas storage facilities, build up an internal market and negotiate as a single entity, rather than cutting separate deals.

Russia, Miliband said, "must not learn the wrong lessons from the Georgia crisis: there can be no going back on fundamental principles of territorial integrity, democratic governance and international law."

Medvedev explains why he had to recognise Russia's rebel regions :
"On Tuesday Russia recognised the independence of the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It was not a step taken lightly, or without full consideration of the consequences. But all possible outcomes had to be weighed against a sober understanding of the situation - the histories of the Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples, their freely expressed desire for independence, the tragic events of the past weeks and inter­national precedents for such a move.

"Not all of the world’s nations have their own statehood. Many exist happily within boundaries shared with other nations. The Russian Federation is an example of largely harmonious coexistence by many dozens of nations and nationalities. But some nations find it impossible to live under the tutelage of another.

"Relations between nations living “under one roof” need to be handled with the utmost sensitivity.
After the collapse of communism, Russia reconciled itself to the “loss” of 14 former Soviet republics, which became states in their own right, even though some 25m Russians were left stranded in countries no longer their own. Some of those nations were un­able to treat their own minorities with the respect they deserved. Georgia immediately stripped its “autonomous regions” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of their autonomy.

"In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others.
Seeing the warning signs, we persistently tried to persuade the Georgians to sign an agreement on the non-use of force with the Ossetians and Abkhazians. Mr Saakashvili refused. On the night of August 7-8 we found out why.

"Only a madman could have taken such a gamble. Did he believe Russia would stand idly by as he launched an all-out assault on the sleeping city of Tskhinvali, murdering hundreds of peaceful civilians, most of them Russian citizens?

"Did he believe Russia would stand by as his “peacekeeping” troops fired on Russian comrades with whom they were supposed to be preventing trouble in South Ossetia?

"Russia had no option but to crush the attack to save lives. This was not a war of our choice. We have no designs on Georgian territory. Our troops entered Georgia to destroy bases from which the attack was launched and then left.

"The presidents of the two republics appealed to Russia to recognise their independence.
A heavy decision weighed on my shoulders. Taking into account the freely expressed views of the Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples, and based on the principles of the United Nations charter and other documents of international law, I signed a decree on the Russian Federation’s recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia."
The Great Game continues...