Lest we forget the Russian invasion of Georgia was well planned years in advance, and even admitted by Putin himself. When articles state that Georgia provoked it, they have virtually no clue. It was a land grab as Russia did Crimea, plain and simple. The Russians provoked Georgia’s move that gave Putin the excuse to go in — a manufactured crisis. Although the article is correct in saying the taking of Georgian land to push the West out is correct. It’s goal is to be able to project power into Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from the Mediterranean. For more on Georgia, see HERE.
Russia tightened its control Monday over Georgia’s breakaway province of Abkhazia with a new treaty envisaging closer military and economic ties with the lush sliver of land along the Black Sea.
The move drew outrage and cries of “annexation” in Georgia and sent a chill through those in Abkhazia who fear that wealthy Russians will snap up their precious coastline. It also raised further suspicions in the West about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s territorial aspirations after his annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March.
Under the treaty signed by Putin and Abkhazia’s leader in the nearby Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian and Abkhazian forces in the territory will turn into a joint force led by a Russian commander.
Putin said Moscow will also double its subsidies to Abkhazia to about 9.3 billion rubles (over $200 million) next year.
“I’m sure that cooperation, unity and strategic partnership between Russia and Abkhazia will continue to strengthen,” he said.
“Ties with Russia offer us full security guarantees and broad opportunities for socio-economic development,” Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba said.
Coming amid a chill in Russia-West ties over the Ukrainian crisis, the deal raised concern about Moscow’s plans. The Black Sea region has always been important for Putin, who justified the annexation of Crimea by saying it would guarantee that NATO warships would never be welcome on the peninsula, the home base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
NATO’s secretary-general condemned the treaty, stressing that the alliance supports Georgia’s sovereignty. He also called on Russia to reverse its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another breakaway province, as independent states.
“This so-called treaty does not contribute to a peaceful and lasting settlement of the situation in Georgia,” Jens Stoltenberg said. “On the contrary, it violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and blatantly contradicts the principles of international law, OSCE principles and Russia’s international commitments.”
Russian-Georgian relations were ruptured by war in August 2008 after former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili attempted to restore control over South Ossetia. The Russian military routed the Georgian forces in five days and Moscow recognized both rebel provinces as independent states.
Full article: Russia Gets Greater Control Over Black Sea Region (ABC)