Thursday, October 05, 2006


Georgia conflict may have petroleum at root

Andrew Osborne, London Independent Russia's political establishment, including MPs, government ministers, leaders of major political parties, and Kremlin-connected political analysts, have all warned of the risk of war involving Moscow and its former imperial vassal Georgia. They believe that Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgian President, is trying to provoke a conflict in order to rid his country of Russian influence once and for all. More specifically, they charge that he engineered a recent spy scandal between the two neighbours in order to heighten tension.... Russia has severed all land, sea, air, and postal links with Georgia. Moscow has stopped issuing visas to Georgian nationals, and the Duma is to consider preventing Georgians working in Russia from sending their earnings back home. The Kremlin estimates that the Georgian diaspora sends back $1bn every year, making a significant contribution to Tbilisi's budget.Russia has also banned the import of Georgian wine and mineral water, and at the beginning of this year briefly cut gas and power supplies. In the last few days, businesses owned by ethnic Georgians in Russia have allegedly been raided by police, with two casinos shut down in Moscow and Georgians subjected to increased document checks. Russia has also recalled its ambassador to Tbilisi, effectively severing diplomatic ties .Mr Saakashvili also alleges that pro-Russian forces are targeting helicopters carrying his ministers with surface-to-air missiles, a charge Moscow denies. Georgia has vowed to block Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organisation until the sanctions are lifted.... The Kremlin believes that Mr Saakashvili is little more than an American puppet with vehemently anti-Russian views... The Kremlin views the prospect of Georgia joining Nato with horror, worrying that it is being gradually encircled by unfriendly nations which are little more than American client states.... Washington has a major interest in ensuring that Georgia's government remains "friendly" in order to safeguard a BP oil pipeline which cuts through the country.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

More blogs about politics.
Technorati Blog Finder