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Open Think Tank Articles

November 16, 2012 | Georgia and Russia: Radical Poltical Reset?

Tornike Zurabashvili: The unexpected Georgian elections opened up discussion on the possible future of Georgian-Russian relations. Anticipating Georgian withdrawal from its western ambitions is largely exaggerated; there are numerous reasons why a radical change in relations cannot and should not be expected with the new government in power.

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September 19, 2012 | NATO's Partners in the South Caucasus

NATO: On 6 and 7 September NATO’s Secretary General visited the South Caucasus – a region that is strategically important to the Alliance. NATO has been progressively deepening dialogue and cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia since the early 1990s.

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September 18, 2012 | Georgia's Road to the West & the Russian Obstacle in its Way

Rusudan Vashakidze: What should Georgia expect from its relationship with Russia even if the West gets nothing but aggressive energy policy and a disregard for international law? Four years after the August War in 2008 the road to the West for the young democratic country remains dynamic and filled with geopolitical struggles.

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July 7, 2012 | Europe & Russia: Soft Power, Please

Steffen Buenau: To effectively support the ongoing transformation within Russia, Europe should put to use its most effective “soft power” tool: a relaxation of visa regulations. Such an approach is not only effective with regard to domestic transformation but will also help restore credibility in an area where Russian co-operation is crucial, namely, Syria.

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February 26, 2012 | Establishing a Unified NATO: The Case for Georgia

Ian Clarke Hansen: The best way to promote a communal NATO is to provide a meaningful purpose that draws upon transnational concerns and interests. The clearest and most deserving case for this is establishing a timeline of admittance for the Republic of Georgia.

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February 22, 2012 | Building Partnerships: Q&A with NATO's James Appathurai

Editorial Team: Join Atlantic Community for our first Question & Answer session of 2012. NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai will be taking your questions on NATO partnerships and regional initiatives, and answering in a video response.

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June 27, 2011 | The Geopolitics of Abkhazia's Sovereignty

Vasco Martins: This article proposes four interlinked hypothesis to explain the immense geopolitical benefits of recognizing Abkhazia, while understanding that certain ‘hard-line’ factions within the Russian government might have planned the outcome of the conflict.

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April 21, 2011 | Georgia on Our Minds? Why NATO Should Offer Membership

Siri Bjorntvedt: By offering conditional membership to Georgia, NATO will help to stabilize the region and improve the democratic credentials of both partners. This will also help Georgia improve its relations with Russia, subsequently making another war much less likely.

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January 6, 2010 | The Russia-Georgia War and Its Impact on EU Foreign Policy

Aleksandra Palagnyuk: The five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 has reveiled the true importance of the Caucasus region to the EU as well other key international players. In this MA thesis I analyse the implications of the conflict for European foreign policy, especially with regards to EU energy security.

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January 4, 2010 | Germany's Interests in Future NATO Enlargement

Dirk Schuchardt: Germany’s main interest in NATO enlargement lies in creating a stable European security order, while preventing a confrontation with Russia. Therefore, from the German perspective, Ukraine and Georgia should not join the Alliance.

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July 28, 2009 | USA Ends Dependence on Ukraine and Georgia

Ingo Mannteufel: US President Barack Obama proclaimed a new start in Russian-American relations; now it is the Vice President’s job to initiate a new policy towards the governments of Ukraine and Georgia. Biden made it clear that the US is no longer willing to give these countries whatever it takes to counterbalance Russia.

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January 13, 2009 | Georgian Leadership: The Failure to Break with the Past

Jesse David Tatum: The Saakashvili administration’s biggest failure is an inability to represent a real change from the inept post-Soviet Georgian leadership of his predecessors.

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December 9, 2008 | Georgia and Ukraine: Circumnavigating the MAP

Jeffrey Mankoff: Washington and London have proposed dropping the NATO MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine, favoring an open-ended development plan for both countries. Germany and France protest such unorthodoxy, but this more flexible approach might allow NATO to balance its Russian interests with eventual expansion.

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October 15, 2008 | Stop the Wishful Thinking about Russia

Anna Nadgrodkiewicz: Russia’s authoritarian tendencies will continue to make it a threat to international security. Allowing Russia to define and act within a self-proclaimed sphere of interest will not make anyone safer.

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September 30, 2008 | The Polish-Lithuanian Tandem

Alexandros Petersen & Ryan R. Miller: Poland and Lithuania can play an important role in advancing U.S. priorities in the “New East Europe.”

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September 23, 2008 | The EU Can Mediate Georgia Conflict

Memo 8: Atlantic Community members conclude that the EU, acting in coordination with the UN, is in the best position to negotiate a peaceful solution. The US, Russia, Georgia, NATO, and others must consider their future strategies carefully.

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September 18, 2008 | Kyrgyzstan's Lessons from the Russian-Georgian War

Askarbek Erkinovich Mambetaliev: Many commentators are looking to Kyrgyzstan to express its “creed” about the Russia-Georgia conflict, considering Kyrgyzstan a key country in Central Asia. It seems no one wants to cross the “older brother” Russia. Therefore, President Kurmanbek Bakiev must act wisely in this situation.

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September 17, 2008 | Redefine the Concept of Independence

Hall Gardner: Moscow’s decision to recognize South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence has begun to backfire: Russia has been widely criticized for its actions and the events in Georgia could provoke nationalist claims for independence within Russia itself. Redefining the concept of “independence” might be a way out of the crisis.

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September 9, 2008 | The Georgian Flaw in Transatlantic Security

Colette Grace Mazzucelli: The US, acting in coordination with the EU, should address the crisis in Georgia with a strong humanitarian effort and a firm, yet non-isolating, stance toward Russia. As foreign policy concerns are compounded by domestic challenges, the next US administration must prudently tackle economic problems and re-define America’s role in world affairs.

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September 5, 2008 | EU Should Balance Criticism Toward Russia and Georgia

Leonie Holthaus: The EU should serve as a mediator in the Russian-Georgian dispute. This role requires that the EU does not take sides with one conflicting party but rather balance its criticism. Even if a position like this is perceived as “hesitant” in the US press, it may contribute to resolving the conflict by diplomatic means.

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September 4, 2008 | Proposal for a United Policy Towards Russia

David Francis: The EU must take a strong yet cooperative stance toward Russia. The next US administration must regain its moral standing in international politics. Ultimately, Moscow must understand that its recent actions in Georgia are unacceptable.

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September 1, 2008 | End the Isolation of Secessionist Movements

Judy Fu: The situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a reflection of the sorry state of affairs for millions of people living under unrecognized de facto government or in secessionist territories. There are important lessons to be learned here in the need to engage non-state actors.

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August 28, 2008 | The Caucasus Conflict Needs EU Mediation

Leonie Holthaus: There is still a chance that diplomacy can contribute to resolving the Caucasus conflict. Given resurgent cold war vocabulary and the upcoming presidential elections in the US, it is up to the EU to function as a mediator between the conflicting parties.

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August 28, 2008 | Russian Citizenship: Moscow's Tool for Recollecting the Empire's Lands

Andreas Umland: A justification for Russia’s recent invasion of Georgia was that it had to protect its citizens in South Ossetia. There is, however, a subtle difference between a state’s protection of its citizens living abroad, and its defense of citizens creating their own state within another country

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August 27, 2008 | Georgia's Recklessness Pays off With NATO

Ulf Gartzke: Mikhail Saakashvili’s reckless military gamble has unfortunately paid off and put him on a fast track to NATO membership. This stunning turnaround demonstrates the problems with the behavior of the Georgian leadership as well as with the West’s response to their actions.

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August 22, 2008 | Transatlantic Unity Should Not Isolate Russia

Matthew Derek Crosston: The West needs some serious balance in the way it analyzes and discusses the Georgian conflict. Academics, diplomats, and journalists have come forward with a united response to Ossetia: Russia is showing ‘imperialist ambitions’ and ‘a disproportionate reaction.’ This is ridiculous.

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August 20, 2008 | 8/8 Marks a New Era in Global Politics

Volodymyr Horbach: Consequences of the recent conflict in Georgia will be as serious and global as those after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ukraine’s position in this conflict is especially uncomfortable as it needs to preserve good neighborly relations with both Georgia and Russia. Kiev should not, therefore, take sides but take part in the peacekeeping mission.

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August 19, 2008 | Russian Belligerence Will Strengthen Transatlantic Relations

Marek Swierczynski: Even though technically Russia won the war, the victory will paradoxically weaken Russia’s position towards its western partners, especially the US. Military action against Georgia – however limited in scale – is a symbolic resurrection of Russia’s imperial ambitions and will thus strengthen transatlantic partnership.

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August 15, 2008 | How America Should Respond to Resurgent Russia

Wess Mitchell: The United States should announce its intention to transfer the entire Europe-based American military establishment to new locations in Central Europe, because many of the EU’s largest states are more interested in avoiding a rupture with Moscow than in protecting the vital interests of the Union’s eastern members.

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August 13, 2008 | Only Transatlantic Unity Can Stop This War

Richard Holbrooke and Ronald D. Asmus: Moscow’s behavior in Georgia poses a direct challenge to European and international order. Georgia deserves our solidarity and support. Only strong transatlantic cooperation can put an end to this conflict and begin to repair the immense damage done.

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August 12, 2008 | The Transatlantic Divide Over the Caucasus Conflict

Nikolas Kirrill Gvosdev: The Caucasus conflict challenges the Atlantic community, because there is no consensus about resolving it. With regard to Russia, the European countries will have to decide if they want to follow their path of constructive engagement, or keep good ties with the US.

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August 11, 2008 | What to Expect from the Georgia-Russia Crisis

Stefan Wolff: South Ossetia might well become Georgia’s Chechnya. The current escalation of military hostilities has put the likelihood of a sustainable settlement off even further. The European Union is the best-placed conflict manager in the South Caucasus.

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August 9, 2008 | Report from Tbilisi: Georgia Under Full Attack

Tamuna Kekenadze: On Saturday morning, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili requested the Parliament to endorse his decision on declaring martial law on the entire territory of Georgia. The Parliament has approved the presidential decree immediately.

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August 8, 2008 | HOT ISSUE: How to Respond to the Caucasus Crisis?

From the Editorial Team: Georgia and Russia are on the brink of a full-fledged war. How should the European Union, NATO and individual Western governments respond to the current crisis?

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August 4, 2008 | Russia's Neoimperial Policies Make Georgia and Ukraine Seek NATO Membership

Grigol Ubiria: NATO’s eastern enlargement is too often solely considered from the perspective of Russia’s right to defend its interests on its borders. Little or no attention has been paid to factors forcing former Soviet republics, particularly Georgia and Ukraine, to rush to join the alliance.

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July 1, 2008 | Averting Secessionism in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus

Hall Gardner: NATO’s Bucharest Summit in April 2008 did not fully address the question of how to create a viable system of security for the volatile region of eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. As eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Caucasus are all riddled with secessionist and irredentist movements since Soviet collapse, it will require concerted US, EU, and Russian attention if a major crisis is to be averted.

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June 12, 2008 | Expansion Does Not Solve NATO's Dilemma

Jens F. Laurson and George A. Pieler: NATO is trying to expand its military wing to more countries, which used to be “the enemy,” in its effort to secure its future. However, Europe’s reliance on imported oil should be considered before alienating exporters like Russia in the attempt of reinventing NATO’s aging alliance.

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April 14, 2008 | Supporting Ukraine, but Worrying About Russia

Atlantic Community SURVEY: 23 European and US policy analysts and our members express stronger support for Ukraine’s NATO aspirations than witnessed at the Bucharest Summit. Advocacy for fast NATO enlargement correlates with geographic proximity to Russia.

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April 4, 2008 | Enlargement Delay is Okay if Progress in Afghanistan

Marek Swierczynski: NATO’s decision to delay a major enlargement should only be viewed in a positive light if it results in better management of the Afghan mission, and the Alliance keeps up the pace to relaunch negotiations with Ukraine and Georgia.

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March 23, 2008 | Rapid Reaction: Moving NATO Forward

Nikolas Kirrill Gvosdev: Secretary-General De Hoop Scheffer must find a compromise between NATO members: those who don’t want to anger Russia and those pushing to include Eastern European states.

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January 4, 2008 | Arms Race in the Caucasus

Thomas de Waal: The simmering conflicts in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia could easily flare up. Although they are driven by unresolved regional disputes, both the US and Russia loom large in the background.

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Global Must Read Articles

September 20, 2012 | Georgia: From Rose Revolution to Oppression

Following the Rose Revolution and the 2004 Georgian presidential elections, Mikheil Saakashvili is known for his bold stance against Russian hegemony in the region. ++ But today, he is getting attention of a different kind. ++ His government is being charged for its suppression of political challengers at home. ++ The recent cyber attack allegations appear to have escalated the political battle

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August 14, 2012 | Put an End to NATO Expansion

With the end of the Cold War, the justification for NATO expansion is gone and the new members bring more costs than benefits. ++ Georgia’s inclusion into NATO is a dangerous liability for the US. ++ It is a geopolitically aggressive move and can provoke nuclear confrontation with Russia over matters of little importance to the US. ++ Furthermore, Saakashvili’s government does not act

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November 2, 2011 | Russia's Long Road to the WTO

Russia’s 18-year quest to become a member of the WTO may finally be drawing to a close by the end of this year, as Georgia gave its consent under US and EU pressure. ++ The biggest barrier to admission into the WTO, however, lies within Russia in the face of Vladimir Putin. ++ In the past, Putin has consistently thwarted the negotiation process in its final stages. ++ While Russian exporters

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August 13, 2010 | Russians Defend Against Non-Existing Air Force

Moscow has stationed S-300 air defense missile systems in Abkhazia and similar devices in South Ossetia in a curious move, as Georgia possesses no air force. ++ Instead, the systems are geared toward blocking Georgian airspace. ++ The Russian move is intended as a message to Washington, by demonstrating air interdiction capabilities that could hamper its ability to use supply routes into Central

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July 21, 2010 | Georgian Lessons for the Ukrainian Opposition

The fact that Georgia has had a more successful democratic transition than the Ukraine may be a generational matter. ++ Members of Saakashvili’s administration are on average ten years younger than most Ukrainian politicians. ++ To emulate the Georgian successes, members of the Ukrainian opposition need a crash course in English and economics. ++ It would also help their cause if they paid a few

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September 30, 2009 | Can Turkey Save a Fading Georgia?

As a younger Georgian politician rises in the form of Irakli Alasania, the US are finally losing patience with Mikheil Saakashvili. ++ The Georgian President fails to recognize that both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have effectively been independent for 16 years and now Venezuela has joined in recognizing the breakaway republics. ++ Could Turkey hold the key as it hopes to gain influence through

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September 25, 2009 | US Reset Button Broken as Georgia Pays Price

A renewed naval patrol around the Georgian coast has been Russia’s reaction to the cancellation of the missile defence project as threats are turning into a veiled policy to undermine its sovereignty. ++ “Moscow has realized that a more patient and deliberate policy aimed at gradually isolating and distancing Georgia from the West could better serve its plan of imperial

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September 23, 2009 | Europe Must Stand up for Georgia

On the anniversary of the fall of the iron curtain a group of academics advocate that Europe must show stronger support for Georgia. ++ As the EU prepares to release its report on the causes of the war in Georgia we must remember the lessons of a painful past. ++ “The EU was built against […] the iron curtain [so] it would be utterly disastrous if we were to appear […] to condone

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August 19, 2009 | Georgia Becomes Russia's Far Abroad

Withdrawal from the CIS for Georgia represents a continental shift away from Russia and other former Soviet republics. ++ President Saakashvili should not have left so quickly as it frees Moscow from the obligation of viewing the territorial integrity of Georgia. ++ “Georgia’s actions, because it is unlikely to be accompanied by any cataclysmic consequences, may make it easier for

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August 7, 2009 | Georgia Is Regaining Strength

One year after the Russian invasion, Georgia continues to draw nearer to its western allies. ++ “The Kremlin is forced to discover that few points of its agenda have succeeded.” ++ Despite the Georgia peace plan signed by President Medvedev, Russian troops have not retreated. ++ Moscow must realize that new western ideals do not pose a threat to the Kremlin. ++ The Georgian

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July 22, 2009 | US Should Condition Georgian Aid

Obama’s firm support for Georgia is good, but Joe Biden’s visit this week is a chance for a big US foreign policy win. ++ “The US should tell Saakashvili that future economic aid is dependent on an end to his increasingly authoritarian, corrupt and undemocratic rule.” ++ Encouraging Georgia’s democratic opposition would ensure that US dollars are not wasted on a failing regime, strengthen

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July 6, 2009 | US Needs to Put its Own Interests First in Russia

President Obama’s visit to Moscow is supposed to foster “a more substantive relationship with Russia” - particularly on Iran’s atomic ambitions, Afghanistan and a replacement arms treaty - but Russia hardly looks “inclined to forge a partnership, except on its own terms.” ++ The US must remember its own aims - to expand freedom in Eurasia - and not pander to Putin.
++ President Obama’s

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July 3, 2009 | With Russia, Trust is Good, Control is Better

The West can’t ignore Russia’s belligerent moves towards Georgia - warning signs that Russia is not ready for the relationship we seek. ++ “Extensive fighting could
erupt again” and Russia may be preparing to install a puppet regime. ++ While Russia is strategically more important, it is not a reliable partner: its brutish stands show it does not share Western values, like transparency,

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June 25, 2009 | Will There be a Second Russian-Georgian War?

In the face of retreating OSCE peacekeepers, a second war in Georgia becomes possible. ++ Russia’s demand that the OSCE leave Georgia comes at the same time as it states Georgia is preparing for war. ++ Since last year, Moscow has claimed the last conflict was triggered by Georgian attacks. ++ “Russia would be crazy to start a new war.” ++ “Unfortunately, it was just such madness that prompted

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June 17, 2009 | Obama Cannot Ignore Russian Veto of UN Mission

Russia has vetoed an extension of the UN mission in the Georgian breakaway zone of Abkhazia. ++ All international monitoring organizations have left Abkhazia. ++ “Moscow clearly wants to finish what it started… Georgia had been long in the planning… [and Russia’s involvement there] intended to deal a mortal blow to what Moscow saw as Western encroachment in its backyard.” ++ It is up to

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May 13, 2009 | NATO Exercises in Georgia Anger Russia

The launch of NATO military exercises in Georgia – the latest effort in Tbilisi’s campaign for membership of the alliance - has angered Russia. ++ Georgia believes NATO is pivotal to its security and independence, but Russia has labelled the exercises as “dangerous” and “provocative”. ++ Many Georgians were disappointed NATO has not yet granted the country

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May 8, 2009 | The US Must Be a Friend to Georgia and Russia

The US must improve its relationship with Russia as well as supporting the fledgling democracies on its border. ++ Introducing a free-trade agreement with Georgia is a good first step and will not hurt Washington-Moscow relations. ++ Georgia needs help to weather the economic crisis and its best bet is through increased trade and investment. ++ Trade talks would provide impetus for economic and

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April 3, 2009 | Repose in US-Russia Tensions Thanks to Crisis?

Some 85% of Russian exports are based on energy and raw materials. Falling prices in the international market mercilessly expose these vulnerabilities of the Russian economy: no other newly industrialized country is so dependent on specific price trends (in this case the price of oil). The Kremlin must immediately manage these problems to maintain public support. This situation presents

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December 18, 2008 | NATO Must Find Political Voice

NATO has become “a military alliance without any political clout” and is in the midst of an identity crisis. ++ The campaign in Afghanistan is suffering because of NATO’s lack of a political voice and a lack of cohesion between Brits and Americans ++ Its vacillation over granting MAPs to Georgia and Ukraine for fear of upsetting Russia is further evidence of its

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December 12, 2008 | EU Beckons Ukraine and Georgia

A battle over ex-Soviet republics is taking place between Brussels and Moscow. ++ This quarrel is the subtext to the laborious negotiations over Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO and the EU. ++ The EU has shown a clear desire for greater “association” with its neighbors but refuses to start real talks for fear of angering Russia. ++ A European presence in the region is necessary to

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December 2, 2008 | Slowing Down NATO Expansion Makes Sense

The US sphere of influence can’t extend from Iraq to Georgia. ++ “Historically, peace is maintained when smaller states show restraint in the face of large neighbors.” ++ “Finlandization,” or bowing towards Moscow, used to be an insult during the Cold War. ++ However, Finland remained independent. ++ Saakashvili should take tips from that. ++ As “the old monster” Stalin said apologetically

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November 20, 2008 | Don't Poke Badly Behaved Bears

Western oriented, business friendly, and governed by smart, young people, Georgia is a country on the rise. ++ NATO should not be her final resting place, though. ++ Georgia doesn’t meet NATO requirements for full control of its territory and a closer look reveals its media is like Russia’s: state run and laden with propaganda. ++ “Georgia’s future is economic

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November 18, 2008 | "The Remaking of NATO"

One of Obama’s most trying tasks as president will be to redefine NATO, which lacks “a clear mission” and has “outlived its original purpose.” ++ The thorny issue of Ukrainian and Georgian accession will need to be negotiated with other NATO members. ++ NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is an “out-of-area conflict,” allowing members to decide what role,

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November 17, 2008 | "Europe's Retreat"

On Friday the EU and Russia met to discuss the state of economic cooperation. ++ Russian troops still remain in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, hindering Georgians from returning home. ++ Upcoming talks between Russia and Georgia do not seem promising. ++ By removing sanctions from Russia, the EU has put itself into an inferior position. ++ Postponing economic accords might be an effective way of

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November 14, 2008 | Revitalizing EU-Russian Partnership

The EU and Russia will meet for an annual meeting, focusing on the renewal of their partnership agreement. ++ Since the attacks on Georgia, EU-Russian relations have been shattered. ++ Europeans will not accept a divided Georgia. ++ The EU will have to be open to compromise, considering its dependency on Russian energy, but Russia will also have to make concessions in view of its dependency on

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October 23, 2008 | After Georgia: Russia's Anxious Neighbors

The Georgia conflict is forcing Russia’s neighbors to rethink their relationships with Russia as well as with the West. Through military action, Russia has demonstrated how far it is willing to go to protect its national interests. Western rhetorical reactions to the crisis have dashed hopes that a partnership between post-Soviet states and the US, NATO or the EU could help retain their

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October 23, 2008 | Effete Germany Cozies up to Russia, Scorns NATO

“Old” and “new” Europe parallel the blue and red state split in the US. ++ In old (western) Europe Obama is viewed as a “ray of hope;” new (central and eastern) Europe raises the question, “Who is Obama?” ++ This can be attributed to a difference in threat perceptions. ++ Nowhere is this exemplified more than in Germany. ++ There, a proto-Kantian

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October 20, 2008 | When Russia Comes Knocking

Russia’s invasion of Georgia is not an aberration - it demonstrates a pattern of aggression, one that now threatens Ukraine as Moscow embraces PM Yulia Tymoshenko. ++ Russia’s relations with Tehran, Syria, OPEC and most recently Venezuela all threaten US interests. ++ Western weakness, especially in Europe, is not an option. ++ Georgia and Ukraine must be brought into NATO; military cooperation

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October 14, 2008 | Russia Can "Talk Away" Georgia Conflict

Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia does not correlate with universal approval, and an international dialogue concerning the status of Georgia is set to begin. ++ Europe has proven itself too dissolute to confront Russia openly: Sarkozy has advocated global mediation, emphasizing Georgia’s weakness, and Merkel speaks of “Georgia’s core territory,” nearly cow-towing to the Russian

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October 13, 2008 | Russia Strengthens Iran's Hand

Recent developments have greatly reduced the chances of a war against Iran. ++ Washington had planned to conduct air strikes against Iran from Georgian soil. ++ Russian intervention makes it impossible, which has “strengthened Iran’s hand.” ++ Russia undermined US efforts to impose new sanctions against Tehran during the Security Council’s meeting last month. ++ The fact

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October 10, 2008 | NATO Loses Control of the Caucasus Conflict

NATO has lost itself in the in Caucasus conflict. ++ Medvedev has repeatedly outlined his plans for a EU security architecture - he views his country’s security interests neglected. ++ The EU has almost disqualified itself from diplomatic talks by blindly solidarizing with Georgia. ++ The acceptance of Georgia’s wish for future membership in NATO might be a slight to Russia ++ If NATO

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September 26, 2008 | Staying in Space Means Cooperating with Russia

The US Senate must pass a waiver buying seats aboard Russian space vehicles for US astronauts.++ The NASA shuttle fleet retires in two years, and its new space vehicle, the Orion, will not be ready until 2015, essentially leaving the space station to the Russians until that time. ++ The only way for American astronauts to continue at the space station is via Russian space vehicles. ++ Despite

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September 16, 2008 | Russia Trusts Common Sense Will Finally Prevail

If Russia is to believe that the anti-missile base in Poland will not be used against it, US and its allies have to stop making “cosmetic political gestures” and give concrete guarantees. ++ Statements about Kremlin’s imperialist policies are unfair; Russia has always sided with the weaker and, like always, its moral rightness is undisputed. ++ Moscow doesn’t fear isolation, as

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September 11, 2008 | Growing Concerns About Russia

A poll revealed that Americans and Europeans were troubled over the growing power of Russia even before the attack on Georgia. ++ Respondents in Europe and the US were united in concern about the Kremlin providing weapons to the Middle East, Russia’s energy monopoly, and its behavior toward its neighbors. ++ What they don’t agree upon is how to respond to the Kremlin’s new assertiveness;

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September 11, 2008 | First Calls for Saakashvili's Resignation

A growing number of voices call for Saakashvili’s resignation due to his felonious decision to bomb Zchinwali. ++ In spite of the government’s rhetoric, which tries to justify any efforts to keep South Ossetia, the opposition calls for an examination of Georgia’s contribution to the outbreak of the conflict. ++ However, opposing politicians such as Gamkrelidse, who wants to turn Georgia into a

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September 9, 2008 | A Tug-of-War Over Azerbaijan

It is no accident that Dick Cheney visited Azerbaijan last week. ++ Azerbaijan is a core east-west transit country for oil and natural gas. ++ Their pipelines provide energy to Europe, support former Soviet republics, and help keep oil money away from Iran and Russia. ++ Yet, Azerbaijan still wants to maintain good ties with Russia and is not seeking NATO membership. ++ The war in Georgia has

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September 3, 2008 | Russia Did Not Change the World After All

“The attack on Georgia will go down not as the dawn of a new era of Russian power but as a major strategic blunder.” ++ Russia thought it had little to lose, but it has driven its neighbors, like Poland and Ukraine, into the arms of the West. ++ The US and the EU are now in the best strategic position in 20 years and even China has refused support. ++ Lowering oil prices and working

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September 2, 2008 | Russia is Stuck in the Pre-World War II Mindset

Conflict in Georgia proved that Russia isn’t and doesn’t want to be a part of Europe. ++ Moscow rejects European commitment to nonviolent methods of conflict resolution and shows little appreciation for equality of nations, which is a fundamental principle on the Old Continent. ++ Kremlin trusts in the “hierarchy of raw power.” ++ This mindset is anachronistic for the 21st century and

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September 1, 2008 | NATO's Georgian Mistake, Not to be Repeated

NATO’s failure to provide Georgia and Ukraine with a concrete Membership Action Plan was a grave mistake, as demonstrated in part by recent events in Georgia. ++ Both NATO and the EU, the latter meeting today to discuss circumstances in Georgia, must avoid further empty promises, and instead pursue concrete action. ++ The West should not isolate Russia, i.e., exclusion from the G8, but must

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August 29, 2008 | Russia Scares Off its Own Investors

International investors were already troubled by Russia’s economic problems, but Russia’s recent actions toward Georgia have created diplomatic tensions, which may scare off investors. ++ The outcome of the US election could be a major factor in how Western relations with Russia develop. ++ Weak legal protections for foreign investors who irk Russian authorities will also deter investments. ++

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August 28, 2008 | Russia Was Given no Choice

It was Saakashvili’s behavior that forced Russia to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. ++ Relations of different nations living in one state have to be handled with great sensitivity. ++ Russia respects its minorities and fosters harmonious coexistence between them; the president of Georgia proved himself unable to do the same and stripped his country’s regions

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August 28, 2008 | EU Should Handle Georgia Like Kosovo

The crucial question at the upcoming European head of state meeting is about the right of self-determination in the context of the Caucasus crises. ++ EU foreign policy towards Kosovo indicates that it is an advocate of self-determination; however, there may be some who emphasize the inviolability of borders, thereby giving a hazardous guarantee to the Georgian government. ++ The tiny difference

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August 27, 2008 | Russia's Invasion Challenges the World Order

Russia’s invasion is not only a threat to Georgia, it also questions the political order and values of Europe. ++ With American help, the EU has become “one of the greatest strategic achievements of the 20th century.” ++ But now the Russian aggression is drawing a dividing line through Europe and separates the truly independent nations from those which are stuck on Russia’s autocratic

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August 26, 2008 | The US Should Learn From the Byzantine Empire

If America is to continue dominating the world, it must learn from an empire that managed to survive for centuries – Byzantium. ++ Byzantium did not try to annihilate its adversaries but learned from them and skillfully played enemies and allies for its own ends. ++ Similarly, the US must juggle various interests and keep them in balance. ++ The Georgia imbroglio should be a field study for

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August 26, 2008 | "Next Steps on Georgia"

The US should use alternative means to accelerate Russia’s withdrawal from Georgia and to stabilize the country. ++ In addition to humanitarian aid, it could initiate a large reconstruction operation to ensure the vitality of Georgia’s economy during the Russian occupation. ++ Also, the corrupt oligarchs around Putin could be undoubtedly pressured if US agencies pursue corrupt practices of

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August 26, 2008 | US Should Give up on Solving Georgia Crisis

There is little the United States can do to help Georgia. ++ Russia, with its nuclear weapons, oil, dollar reserves and seat on the UN Security Council, has too much leverage on US foreign policy, so banishing Russia from the G8 would be unwise. ++ The US should lessen their dependence on Russian energy and aim to get Russia to cooperate, not provoke obstinacy. ++ Russian troops should be

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August 25, 2008 | Ukraine Will Not Cede to Russian Power

The conflict in Georgia has exposed the dangers of ignoring “frozen conflicts” as well as the UN’s lack of helpful precautionary tools. ++ The absence of democracy and free media in breakaway regions breeds corruption and human rights abuses, posing a threat to the development of adjacent nations. ++ Wider international representation is the only way to successful peacekeeping. ++ Ukraine

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August 21, 2008 | West No Longer Dictates Terms

The Atlantic view that it’s necessary to protect the underdog from its powerful neighbour is isolated; most of the world is bemused at Western double standards and sees Russia as bullied by the West. ++ Events in Georgia show that the West lacks strategic thinking. ++ Instead of dealing with Russia, Western thinkers should decide what the greatest long-term challenge is – China or the

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August 20, 2008 | The Comeback of Autocracies

The reemergence of autocracy and great-power politics questions the stability of the international liberal order. ++ Unfortunately, Europe’s postmodern tools of foreign policy are not able to counter Russia in the latest conflict between liberal democracy and autocracy. ++ Facing the rise of great-power autocracies, democracies turn back in the direction of the US. ++ Despite predictions of

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August 20, 2008 | The US Must Choose Between Georgia and Russia

Russia’s use of force in the Caucasus is fully legitimized by its right to self-defense and international law. ++ The US has to acknowledge that brutality against a civilian population is not justified simply because the Georgian government calls itself “democratic.” ++ Russia advocates a peaceful resolution and the implementation of the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan. ++ It also wants good bilateral

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August 18, 2008 | NATO Must Put its Foot Down

NATO foreign ministers are meeting tomorrow in Brussels to decide on further actions regarding the crisis in Georgia. ++ To prevent further instability, they should reassure those members who fear Russia that atlantic mutual-defence commitments are real and make new defense arrangements that would deter Russia. ++ They must also speed up the enlargement process and bring in Ukraine and the

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August 18, 2008 | Iran Gambles with Russia-Georgia Conflict

Iran remains mute on Georgia crisis. ++ US-Russia rift could spoil Iran Six negotiations; or increase Russia’s engagement. ++ Historical ties to Georgia and more recent fears of Russian aggressiveness should lead Iran to condemn this violation of Georgian sovereignty. ++ Tehran needs to act as an impartial mediator. ++ An adverse effect on Russian-Iranian relations has to be risked. ++ Post-9/11

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August 15, 2008 | Biased US Media Takes Georgia's Side

US journalism was famous for its independence and professionalism, but recent coverage of the Russia-Georgia conflict is unfair and unbalanced. ++ The so-called free press automatically took Georgia’s side and ignored or distorted events in order to portray an “evil” Russia. ++ On the other hand, Russian media reacted with messages that remind Russians that the true evil is the US and that

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August 14, 2008 | "We Are All Georgians"

Russia claims to protect Ossetians, but its brutal military campaign encompassed the whole of Georgia and therefore a regime change in Georgia seems to be its true aim. ++ In light of these events, Georgia’s reasons for seeking NATO membership are apparent. ++ Hopefully, NATO will move ahead with a membership track for both Georgia and Ukraine. ++ The US and its allies must persuade the Russian

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August 14, 2008 | The West Must Stop Power-Hungry Russia

If the world allows Russia to crush Georgia’s democracy and independence, it will give a green light to all authoritarian governments. ++ The historical echoes of Finland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia are deafening and only Western peacekeepers can end the war. ++ A modern version of the Berlin Airlift is needed to save the Georgian economy. ++ Georgia is only a threat to Russia because it

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August 13, 2008 | Western Policy Fuelled the War in Georgia

This week’s events in Georgia proved the failure of the Western policy of belligerence towards the Kremlin. ++ It failed to take into account the complexity of the ethnic, religious, and nationalist structures in Georgia and even encouraged Saakashvili to challenge Putin. ++ As a result, the plans to enlarge NATO experienced a backlash, Russian neo-imperialism is strengthened and Georgia has

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August 13, 2008 | Georgia in NATO Will be the Best Revenge

For democracy in Georgia to last, Georgians need to feel we have their backs; the West must impose tough economic and diplomatic sanctions on Russia. ++ This conflict demonstrates impotency of the global security order. ++ The West must show Russia it has a greater capacity to sustain a hypothetical new Cold War. ++ It is crucial that the EU breaks the Russian stranglehold on Europe’s

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August 13, 2008 | A Juridical View on the Caucasus Conflict

The clashes in the Caucasus show once again how explosive secessionist conflicts can be. ++ According to international law, they endanger global peace and only the UN and the OSCE are authorized to manage the resolution of such conflicts. ++ But parties involved distrust UN mediation: the separatists because the sovereignty of Georgia is highlighted; Georgia because Russia has a veto in the

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August 12, 2008 | Georgia Fights for Our Common Transatlantic Values

Of all the post-Soviet states, Georgia has come furthest in the fight to strenghten democracy and independent foreign policy and that is precisely what Russia wants to thwart. ++ The fact that Russia was entrusted with the peacekeeping and mediating in Abkhazia and South Ossetia makes the violation of international norms even more appalling. ++ This war is not only about Georgia’s

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August 12, 2008 | Russia Does not Hold all the Blame

Russia has continued to recognize Georgia’s regional unity and merely responded to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia. ++ To call it an attack on “small, defenseless Georgia” is hypocritical and inhumane. ++ Western encouragement prompted Georgian leaders to think that they could escape the blame for a “blitzkrieg.” ++ Russia is not seeking territorial expansion, but unlike the US has valid

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August 12, 2008 | The West and the Georgian-Russian Conflict

The current conflict is not only about Russia and Georgia, but also represents the US-Russian competition for control over the strategically important transit routes for oil and gas. ++ The Georgian President must have aimed at American involvement when he attacked Russia, because he knows only the US is able to enforce a solution advantageous for Georgia. ++ The West is now challenged by

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August 11, 2008 | Russia is Thwarting Georgia's NATO Ambitions

Western support of Kosovo’s declaration of independence and NATO’s assurance of Georgia and Ukraine’s eventual Atlantic Alliance membership erode Russian influence on former states of the USSR. ++ Georgia pays a high price for adopting a pro-Western foreign policy and choosing new allies. ++ This intervention is a clear message to the West to stay out of what Kremlin sees as its

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August 7, 2008 | We Musn't Allow a New Rift Between NATO and Russia

Admitting Georgia and Ukraine to NATO could spoil the cooperation between Russia and the West. ++ If NATO decides to take in the two former Soviet republics, Russia might reciprocate by freezing its relations with the alliance which would be a lose-lose situation for all the parties involved. ++ We must not let this issue cool the relations between NATO and Moscow. ++ NATO, Russia and the OSCE

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August 6, 2008 | EU Leadership Necessary to Solve Abkhazian Conflict

EU realizes it is time to solve the festering conflicts in the Union’s new neighborhood: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. ++ But Moscow has an interest in preserving this “simmering status quo” and delays anything that could resolve the duel as it helps to achieve the goal of keeping Georgia out of NATO. ++ The key to resolution is for the EU to convince Kremlin that peace and stability on

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July 15, 2008 | War in the Air Between Georgia and Russia

The prospect of war between Georgia and Russia is increasingly realistic. ++ We must stand up for Georgia and prevent the war as it could lead to the breakdown of Russia’s relations with the West and destabilize a territory so crucial for Western
energy supplies. ++ Using the so-called “frozen conflict” in Georgia’s breakaway province Abkhazia as an excuse, Russia is trying to subdue Tbilisi,

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June 3, 2008 | The West Must Help Prevent War in Georgia

Western calls for restraint are ineffective as tensions rise in Georgia over Abkhazia, the region where Russia supports separatist aspirations that threaten Georgia’s national unity. ++ “Moscow seems determined to provoke Tbilisi to take military action that would discredit Georgia in western eyes.” ++ Besides constraining Russia with the threat of diplomatic consequences, the US/EU should

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May 9, 2008 | Georgia in Desperate Need for Western Help

Russia is increasing military means in Georgia that show striking parallels with Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus. ++ NATO members argue Georgia’s state of democratization needs to improve before they are willing to risk souring relations with Russia, but it is overlooked that much more is at stake here. ++ Despite EU and NATO bureaucratic considerations, Western help in general is

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May 7, 2008 | Medvedev Faces Off with Putin to Bring Change

Former Yeltsin supporters are rallying around Medvedev in the hope of setting Russia on a new, more reconciliatory course with the West. ++ After years of symbolic resistance and support of anti-American regimes, Medvedev wishes to cut down on corruption and hard-line policies vis-à-vis its regional neighbors. ++ His biggest challenge is Putin. ++ The coming months will reveal if Medvedev

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April 22, 2008 | No Enlargement: The EU and Russia Need one Another

Russian perception of enlargement to Ukraine and Georgia as a threat is reasonable. ++ Russia desperately needs EU investment and technology. ++ Europe needs Russian natural gas. ++ Russia should also be stronger engaged in disarmament again. ++ Stable relations to Russia should be preferred over NATO enlargement, representing “the fantasies of an American president.”

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April 4, 2008 | The Outcome of Bucharest

For the sake of NATO credibility, the decision against MAPs for Ukraine and Georgia
needs to be reviewed within the year. ++ If Europeans give in, Russia may be able to prevent former Soviet republics from democratizing and westernizing. ++ But Russia’s victory in Bucharest could benefit transatlantic relations as it highlights the EU and NATO’s desperate need for American military support and

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April 2, 2008 | Divide on Ukrainian and Georgian NATO Membership

NATO enlargement is dividing the Euro-Alantic community into old and new Europe. ++ Representing old Europe, Germany, France and Austria only want to offer an “Enhanced Agreement” instead of Membership Action Plans to Ukraine and Georgia, one reason being not to provoke Russia. ++ To offer anything less than MAPs to Ukraine and Georgia would question NATO’s open-door policy.

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March 31, 2008 | NATO and EU Need an Open-door Policy

Bucharest is the ideal opportunity to extend the NATO membership action plan to Georgia and Ukraine and further negotiations with Balkan states. ++ While rewarding and encouraging their effort of reform, this would enhance the stability, solidarity, and security of the region. ++ NATO integration and EU enlargement are inseparable and crucial steps towards the creation of a stable European

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April 26, 2007 | Russian Energy Pressure Fails to Unite Europe

In 2006, Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and Georgia, indicating that Moscow is prepared to use energy resources to exert political power over Europe. Keith C. Smith of CSIS writes that, though European leaders initially showed unified opposition to Moscow’s power play, there have since been few tangible indications of new EU policies which would protect against future Russian

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Comments

September 22, 2012 | The article does not reflect the reality in...

July 29, 2009 | As a matter of fact, the US is running the...

July 24, 2009 | I agree with Dovan Bingham that Russia's...

December 9, 2008 | As far as I understand the Author, he favours...

December 3, 2008 | Today (2nd Dec. 2008) the Foreign Ministers of...

December 1, 2008 | Indeed the time has come to reconsider the...

September 2, 2008 | Russia, Iran and Venezuela all have different...

September 1, 2008 | China's reluctance to align itself with...

August 28, 2008 | As THE ECONOMIST recently corrected noted,...

August 28, 2008 | The US used the opportunity to enter the Black...

August 24, 2008 | @Mr Akishkin With all due respect, what is...

August 24, 2008 | To Levan Nadiradze As you site quite a lot...

August 22, 2008 | Very balanced opinion from USA for long time,...

August 21, 2008 | Dear Mr Rusila, You make a very interesting...

August 20, 2008 | You are discussing the geography of my country...

August 20, 2008 | Hello? I had left Gori a week before the...

August 20, 2008 | Dear Maka, Please do not trust too much on...

August 14, 2008 | The ideal to use power in the service of...

August 12, 2008 | So, how many European politicians are...

August 12, 2008 | Will the US get behind the plan Sarkozy drew...

August 12, 2008 | The rift may not only occur between the US and...

August 9, 2008 | Presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and...

August 9, 2008 | Russia: - I assume, that the Russians try...

August 8, 2008 | Technically speaking, what was Georgia's...

August 8, 2008 | It is a sad but symbolic coincidence that...

February 28, 2008 | The Russian state under Vladimir V....

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