Monday, August 10, 2015

Viewpoint: What's behind Russia's actions in Georgia?

By George Mchedlishvili Chatham House, BBC
10 August 2015
From the section Europe

Russia's latest alleged move against Georgia demonstrates that Moscow remains determined to disrupt the pro-Western course of this small South Caucasus state.

Late on 10 July, Russian troops placed new demarcation signposts along the administrative boundary between the annexed territory of South Ossetia, which was removed from Georgia's jurisdiction by force in the war of 2008, and Tbilisi-controlled territory.

Crucially, a further 1.5km into the Georgian territory was added overnight. The new "border" is now a de facto occupation line, just a mile away from a major highway linking Georgia's eastern and western regions

Not only did this "land grab" disrupt the lives of villagers, whose households ended up overnight within the Russian-controlled territory, a kilometre-long section of the BP-operated Baku-Supsa oil pipeline also now lies outside of Tbilisi's reach.

Russia has been denying any involvement in the latest incident, advising the Georgian authorities to talk directly to the Ossetian "government". Russia recognises South Ossetia as an independent state, while Georgia and the most of the rest of the world regard South Ossetia a part of Georgia by right.

(More here.)

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