I’m continuing to see hopeful signs of life from NATO and Rice:

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Tuesday that the Russians are not now honoring the terms.

“There can be no business as usual with Russia under the present circumstances,” Scheffer said.

The announcement came after foreign ministers from NATO member nations gathered in Belgium for an emergency meeting over the crisis between Russia and Georgia which also involved U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Hopes of resolving the conflict had been boosted when on Tuesday Georgia and Russia exchanged soldiers who had been captured during the fighting, then Russia agreed to a beefed-up monitoring mission for Georgia’s disputed region of South Ossetia.

Russia also began deploying troops from the strategically key Georgian city of Gori, The Associated Press reported.

Rice arrived at NATO headquarters on Tuesday a day after saying that Moscow was playing “a dangerous game” by re-asserting its power across the border.

NATO ministers were expected to discuss what the alliance can do to support Georgia and “deny Russia’s strategic objectives,” Rice said.

NATO’s internal debate, which centers around the level of diplomatic contact with Russia, is relatively modest:

Washington called on Nato nations to consider at least suspending ministerial meetings with Russia, but Britain and others said it would be counter-productive to cut channels of communication with Moscow now.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who attended the meeting, is flying to Georgia to voice support to Tbilisi.

Before leaving he told Sky News: “Russia wants to be a respected international player and it can only be so if it lives up to its international commitments.

“I think it’s important that we don’t pursue a policy of trying to isolate Russia. What we need is hard-headed engagement. But we will make sure it’s not business as usual.”

The possibility of Georgian membership in NATO won’t be officially discussed until December:

Membership Action Plan (MAP) status for Georgia and Ukraine is due to be reviewed at a December meeting.

“I don’t expect that we will — and nor have we sought to — accelerate MAP for Georgia,” Rice said.

“We have said that was a matter for December and we will take that up in December.”



19 Comments

  1. skeeve

    Russia, IS honoring Cease Fire – it is withdrawing its troops from Georgia. Nowhere in this agreement is stipulated how fast this redeployment has to occur. It IS however stipulated that Russia is allowed to maintain patrols in the buffer zone and it IS stated clearly that Georgia is redeploying its troops away from Osetia’s border to the areas of ORIGINAL deployment.

    But then again, when was the last time so called western powers cared about the agreement that they just “brokered”.
    As for not having business as usual. Let me challenge you gentlemen. Could you please name me A SINGLE Russian’s security or political concern that was not completely ignore by NATO. Name me, please, a single point that was raised by Russia over the last 10 years on which NATO bothered to consult Russia? Please, do.
    NATO countries continue to ask a lot: energy, Iran, North Korea but… what exactly do they offer in return? Big, fat NOTHING. Is it surprising that in a political climate like this Russia took matters it is own hand.

    As for all this funny noises from London and Washington that Russia “will not be a respected international player”, with all due respect, I love propaganda but propaganda should make minimal sense, n’est pa? Don’t know about “respected” but the last 10-15 years Russia was IGNORED as international player, so in this respect Russia has nothing to loose already. Membership in “international” organizations? I am sorry, but see above, not a single one of these “organizations” was able to address concerns and problems raised by Russia many times over for the last 10 years; sooo, what use these organizations have for Russia.

    With all due respect, you can preach energy independence every day on every corner, but the reality of world is very simple – in the next 30-50 years none of the member of “golden billion” will achieve energy independence. Russia, on the other hand can always sell their oil and gas to China and India.

  2. jake_s

    You can’t do clean work with dirty hands. NATO micro-scrutinizes Russia’s withdrawal while getting its own hands dirty trying to enforce Stalin’s diktats against Ossetia and whitewashing a sneak attack by the Georgians. Since when did sneak attacks and Stalin’s policy become Western policy?

    Let’s see the same level of micro-scrutiny applied to Georgia’s decision to break sixteen years of peace to invade South Ossetia, contrary to Georgia’s own promises in the 1992 agreement that ended a bitter war to give South Ossetia their freedom from Stalin’s orders. Ignore all that and the Russian response does indeed seem “disproportionate.”

    Here’s a picture to remember Stalin gave Ossetia to Georgia: http://rs9tl.rapidshare.com/files/138289695/11964333/stalinsorder.jpg (although I suppose Saak, Pres. Bush, Condi and Paul Gigot weren’t there with Stalin back then!)

  3. JETCHARTER1

    It’s about time NATO decided to do something. Russia doesn;t want any country with a common border to have NATO membership..e.g. Georgia. Let’s see if NATO can finally put it’s act together and act as the alliance that it’s supposed to be. Not the loose alliance that it is.

  4. thinker

    NATO is opening itself up for a counter-strike. Here’s the Russian plan: agree with George Bush.

    Step 1: Encourage the US to build a missile system in Poland. It’s a great idea to spend a trillion dollars in Poland to defend the French and Germans against (??) Iranian missiles. This will guarantee that the French never run out of reasons to ridicule the US economy. It is a perfect plan to make the US dollar worth less than toilet paper compared to the Euro. Thanks George!

    Step 2: Throw the G7 out of the G8. They’re all paupers now on energy compared to Russia, so why should Russia continue providing welfare through energy subsidies to the Western slacker economies? Let the Europeans freeze this winter and they’ll start up their own organization, you know, like the European Union, with Russia.

    Step 3: Use the WTO to inflict further crushing economic disadvantage against the US. Duh, unless people forgot, WalMart buys all its stuff from China these days. Ain’t got no manufacturing in US no more and now even intellectual property depends on hiring math guys out of China, India and Russia. Let’s cut that off to make sure the US economy tanks.

    Step 4: Spend billions in Georgia instead of in the US. They need bridges and schools more than we do. Maybe if we spend enough they’ll rename their country “Georgia Bush” as a monument to the outgoing administration.

    Step 5: Polish up that Georgian statue of Joe Stalin in Gori. He’s a real democrat ally now, don’t you know!

  5. Sergei

    I’m Russian living in US and will provide a historical perspective on this subject: more people ignore Russia’s rise as the 4th Reich, more powerfull and scary will Russia get; Muslim Fundamentalizm and Al Qaeda are dwarfed by Russian Autocracy – not since Hitler anyone tried to make such a balzy move – invade another country and tell the world – go f*** youselves! What’s really scary is that Russia made Europe dependent on the ENERGY, no wonder nobody has any balls to stand up to Putin! I’m a registered democrat but I miss Reagan! He would have said – Mr. Putin – get your troops out of Georgia, or we will fast-track them to NATO and then you’ll have to deal with us! Time for US to show Russia who’s boss! If Russia gets away with this, Ukraine, Poland, Kazakhstan will be next!!!

  6. Uyi P

    Russia is doing what the U.S will do a thousand times. U.S fought and sought to occupy Lebanon by proxy=israel. It failed.

    Russia needs to get populated and become more a force economically. The U.S Bush is always a mischief maker. What is a defence shield and against whom. A sinner runneth when no man pursueth. Bush only wants to restart the cold war to dissipate Russia’s oil wealth, like they did the Soviet union, by nudging Russia to ivest in arms.

    This will not work this time. Bush is simply a terrible person. Period. Putin is his greatest fear.

  7. Alisa

    Russia did not have a choice. Georgia has attacked Ossetia and killed people. Russia protected Ossetia and has got in a trap. It was the trap of Georgia and Georgia knew, that Russia cannot easy look at murders of people. This trap has been prepared by the USA and Georgia to incite other countries against Russia.

  8. Greg

    Well we’ve heard from the Russian communists as well as the American communists. When was the last time we could afford to trust the Russians? Anyone old enough to remember “trust but verify”?

    Why are the Russians preventing verification? Is it because it was so pesky in 91?

    Germany says let the UN handle it, that’s worked out great in the last few years. NATO was founded to fight Russia, who better to deal with this issue today.

    More people have been killed in Chicago this year than during this entire conflict (if you discount the Russian claims). You don’t see Mexico sending in troops to protect the poor gangbangers do you?

    Russia committed they would be in full compliance of the treaty by Friday. Anyone want to bet?

  9. d1david

    WoW I am shocked: let’s not talk who we can or cannot be trust.
    I am an American, but an honest American, and have no relationship to any European Eastern countries. So lets be honest – you better do your research on how many treaties, agreements, and protocols which have been simply been ignored and broken by the US government. The US makes the rules and breaks the rules whenever it seems fit, don’t u know ? Right now under George Bush, I trust any Russian news over the spin and propaganda spit out by our administration. And if you want to do more research ? — Research ” US Think Tanks” and you will learn that much of the news we read is written by the Pentagon, and the Pentagon pays for it, which saves the media a ton of money. There are actually reporters that are on the Pentagon payroll to spin news. This no bull.

    Are we all so stupid? Have we all forgotten how to research and read read read from High School ?
    If we don’t I hate to see the future. Well, keep up the war drums and the dollar in will fall to the value of confetti. Research “US Think Tanks” and its already projected our economy will plunge to near 3rd world levels. Better buy a piggy bank. And don’t think “Think Tanks” are Russian tanks, they are institution that our government, president and congress rely on, including our corporations.

  10. georgy

    just a quote:

    The Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was an invasion of the island nation of Grenada by the United States of America and several other nations in response to an internal power struggle which ended with the deposition and execution of Grenadan Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. On October 25, 1983, the United States, Barbados, Jamaica and members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States landed ships on Grenada, defeated Grenadian and Cuban resistance and overthrew the military government of Hudson Austin.

    The invasion was highly criticised by the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and the United Nations General Assembly, which condemned it as “a flagrant violation of international law”.[4] Conversely, it was reported to have enjoyed broad public support in the United States[5] as well as in segments of the population in Grenada. October 25 is a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day, to commemorate this event. Approximately 100 people lost their lives.

  11. Konstantin

    Taking or not, Russians have totally lost the media war in Georgia. Today, primarily infromation and technologies rule the world. Misperception of the conflict by third parties and the rest of the world made possible for conflict-prone countries and hawks residing in western democrcies (US) to speak about aggression, occupation, invasion in Georgia. And that poses a second question, a question of prominent importance, is Russia capable of protecting it’s vital interests in different parts of the world by the acknowledged means such as diplomacy, negotations, other conventional tools, not war and agrression (US sets the definite example of what not to do). The answer is simple: NO. While Russian president is chatting in Kremlin over some insignificant issues and deciding on the amount of help to South Osetian people, western leaders are convening, discussing, giving press-conferences and providing the world with their stance. And here NATO definitely does the huge job. It is not a fear for NATO members to condemn Russia and worse the realtions, it is winter that is coming soon.
    And their can do nothing until Russia supplies oil, gaz, other natural resources. And that is the major issue: russia does well now (politically, economically), but does well only because of the high prices for crude oil, gaz… and does nothing in sphere of high technologies and services. The main question is how long it may last…

  12. Irma

    First of all, Stalin did not give Osetia to Georgia. he actually put this bomb for Georgia if it ever wished to gain its independence by giving the name South Osetia (the region was called Samachablo before) and by giving it autonomy. This way he kind of made the region tied tighter to North Osetia. I think one should look better into the history of the region before making such claims. Also, look at the map please, South Osetia is not Vatican (state inside a state). Why is it that no one remembers or asks the opinion of the refugees (georgian, Greek, Russian, jewish) that had to flee from the South Osetian and Abkhazian territories in the 90s and still live in the abandoned hotel rooms and bearly surviving? Don’t these people get their say?
    Second, saying that Georgia broke the peace that has axisted in the region for 16 years is a debatable statement. Let me explain why. There are quite a few Georgian villages in the region that had been repeatedly attacked by the Osetian separatists with the support of the so-called Russian peace-keepers over the course of these years, and Georgia always tried to solve the issue in peaceful ways. Who was breaking peace then? If Russia is defending its citizens now (the so-called citizens. Recall how Hitler would give out passports and then invade countries like Poland or Austria), why Georgia couldn’t have done so?
    Third, Russia definitely is not a victim in the situation. It has always been greedy for territories and power. It has been preparing for these day for many years, by giving out passports, spending millions on the separatist leaders and by attacking the remaining Georgians in the region over and over again. It’s been forcing Georgians in the region accept Russian citizenship, wouldn’t let them participate in elections, etc.
    As for now, the Russian army is expanding deeper into the Georgian territory, they rob , rape and terrorize innocent people. I don’t wish anybody to experience what it’s like to be under the Russian occupation.
    Finally, going back to Stalin. He has done more evil to Georgia then anyone before him and look at strong Russia, please. Isn’t the Russia of today his heritage?

  13. Irma

    And one more thing, if Russia is so innocent, why do all the countries that have ever had any close contact with it (the Chech Republic, Poland, the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Georgia) are trying hard to escape from it?
    When Putin talks about genocides and ethnic cleansing, he should always remember what he has done to the Chechen people. That was a real GENOCIDE if anyone doesn’t know. Leaders like Putin have always proved to be a threat to the world in the end and to their own nations in the first place.

  14. Konstantin

    Let me answer to Irma. I do believe that you know who is Stalin? Stalin, his name is also Djugashvili, was born in Georgia and he did nothing but protected Georgia during his rule.
    Stalin is always portrayed as the eminent evil, but don’t forget that he and the soviet people saved the world from Nazi. Not the US that opened the second front only a year later then promised.
    As concers ethnic cleansing and genocide. Hm… What do you say about genocide of Amercian Indians by White Americans or about victims of so-called anti-terror campaigns done by Republicans, who are always trying to divert attention of people from the economic problems inside the country by campaigning outside? (Have you ever seen ‘Wag the Dog’?)
    What can you say about ethnic cleasing made by the Baltic countries? Do you recognize the problem of so-called non-citizens who are mostly russians?
    That sre the examples of double standards.

  15. Bob

    Konstantin, if the U.S. was committed to ethnic cleansing as you allude, they’re doing a horrible job of it. As far as I can tell there are still Iraqis in Iraq and Native Americans in America. So no, the mission wasn’t to exterminate them for its own sake. In fact, the only people going to be “cleansed” are the white people in America. Check the census and the time-line. By 2050 when the only white people left are 70 years old, there will be a vicious coup de grace and that will be the end of western civilization this side of the Atlantic. I doubt our present republic / empire will last even that long, so I don’t know what you all are arguing about. Russia is the only european country that halfway appears to have a future.

  16. Konstantin

    Bob, thank you for your response and commitment. You did the argument. I do not think or reflect in the categories of ‘empires’. But what I see is the end of the world as we knew it. The balance of powers has shifted to BRIC countries and their definitely do better then US/UK/EU.
    And I see your point when your are saying about white people but this is a worldwide trend. Globalization made that possible. But you cannot say a white german blonde not to marry a turkish guy, or to white american girl not to marry puerto american.

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