Surely, if this escalates into another war, the propaganda masters behind the last Russian-Georgian war will effectively paint tiny Georgia as the aggressor. The previous, long-planned and pre-determined 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, that is. The next invasion would likely permanently take away the energy corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe planned under the Bush/Cheney administration to bring independence. This is also why you see Europe frantically scrambling to find alternatives to Russian resources.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it was never about an aggressive rogue military in a nation barely larger than Israel. But that’s what the masses believe and it goes to show how effective the propaganda is. You can read more about Georgia under its respective category HERE.
While Moscow continues to be hammered by low oil prices and western-led sanctions, it is doubling down on hard-edged political and financial retribution: Russia is preparing to absorb a province of neighboring Georgia, and delivering an ultimatum to Europe that it could lose much of the Russian gas on which it relies.
Ten months after annexing Crimea and igniting his current standoff with the west, Russian president Vladimir Putin will as early as this week take control of South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia, with which he has a long, sour relationship. He is to sign a little-publicized accord that will hand over foreign policy, border control, and security to Moscow.
“Effective annexation is the word,” Tom De Waal, an expert on the Caucasus at the Carnegie Endowment, wrote in a comment on Facebook. As with Russia’s Crimean adventure, its South Ossetia movements appear permanent. De Waal went on, “Is there any way back? Never say never—if the border with Georgia opens again, it makes much more sense for South Ossetia to [again] be part of the economic space of Georgia.”
By numerous measures, Russia is in trouble. Its economy is on track to contract by 5% this year. On Jan. 14, Fitch downgraded the bonds issued by the Russian gas giant Gazprom and 12 other major Russian companies a notch above junk status. As with the world’s other big petro states, Russia has been hurt by the 60% plunge in oil prices since June—the value of the ruble has plummeted by about 58% and it is having to spend down its cash reserves.
Europe is another target of Moscow’s ire. On Jan. 14, Moscow informed the European Union that within two years, Russia will stop exporting gas to Europe via Ukraine, through which more than 25% of the EU’s gas supplies pass. Instead, it will be delivered via Turkey to Greece. From there, Europe will have to build adequate infrastructure to get the gas where EU customers want it. In an ultimatum, Gazprom’s CEO said that if Europe fails to build lines to coincide with the new Russian route, Gazprom will sell the gas to other customers.
Full article: Russia Is About To Absorb Part of Another Country (Defense One)