Sunday, August 10, 2008

Per l'Occidente è l'ultima chiamata

«The fighting should be a deafening wake-up call to the West. Our fatal mistake was made at the Nato summit in Bucharest in April, when Georgia's attempt to get a clear path to membership of the alliance was rebuffed. Mr Saakashvili warned us then that Russia would take advantage of any display of Western weakness or indecision. And it has».

"Come la Georgia è caduta nella trappola dei suoi nemici", di Edward Lucas (Times, 9 agosto).

E il Wall Street Journal vede «premeditazione» nella reazione della Russia:

«... the West has already shown its unwillingness to push back against Moscow in the Caucasus. When the U.S. proposed NATO "membership action plans" for Georgia and Ukraine at an April summit in Bucharest, Germany vetoed the move. Berlin didn't want to anger Moscow, a fact that the Russians surely noticed as they contemplated when, or if, to move against the government of Mr. Saakashvili, who they have long despised as a reformer outside of the Kremlin's orbit.

Western leaders should have seen this coming. Russia has baited the hot-tempered Georgian leader with trade and travel embargoes as well as saber-rattling. Georgia has had to tolerate a few thousand Russian troops on its soil -- only Moscow recognizes the self-declared independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And in April, Russia downed a Georgian drone over Abkhaz -- that is, Georgian -- air space. Russia in recent years has also granted citizenship to the separatists. That looks like premeditation now: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged yesterday to "protect the lives and dignity of Russian citizens, no matter where they are located." Perhaps Mr. Saakashvili finally snapped and acted first here, as the Kremlin insists. If so, it was a huge mistake, as he has picked a fight with a much larger opponent and damaged his country's chances of joining NATO. The West may support Georgia's territorial integrity, but no one wants war with Russia.

... The prime minister [Putin, n.d.r.] needs to hear that using Ossetia as a pretext for imperialism will have consequences for Russia's relationship with the West».

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