Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Russia 'annexes' a fifth of Georgia

Should we call this the Occupied Territories? What is the proper terms for a post-Soviet occupation?

What good is a treaty with the Soviets? The Russians have always been horrible at keeping treaties and I do not think having Georgia sign a treaty with them is going to change anything. If the Russians want a 'buffer zone' then the Russian troops have to also be included. Take all the Russians out of the area, too.

How long until the Russians conquer the rest of the territory?

Russia 'annexes' a fifth of Georgia - Telegraph: "President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia declared a ceasefire and agreed six principles for peace during a meeting in Moscow with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Under these proposals, all forces must return to their positions at the outset of the war on August 7 and allow full access for humanitarian aid.

But Russia's foreign ministry had additional demands.

The Kremlin wants a buffer zone around South Ossetia and Abkhazia, from which all Georgian forces would be excluded. Russia also seeks a treaty guarantee that Georgia will never use force to recapture them.

These demands would safeguard what amounts to Moscow's de facto annexation of the two enclaves.

After the mauling suffered by his army during five days of fighting, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia may have little choice but to agree.

Mr Sarkozy flew from Moscow to Georgia's capital, Tbilisi last night. He was expected to present his six points and Russia's additional demands to Mr Saakashvili. For his part, Georgia's leader declared a unilateral ceasefire on Sunday.

Mr Medvedev halted operations after Russia's army achieved its primary aim - controlling Abkhazia and South Ossetia and inflicting severe damage on Georgia's forces. Moscow says its army acted only after Georgian forces struck inside South Ossetia and killed "thousands" of Russian citizens. Mr Saakashvili did send his army into the enclave last Thursday - although Georgia denies any atrocities."

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