Former Ambassador Says Georgia Started Russia/Georgia Conflict

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Foreign Policy, Georgia, Russia, War

Keep in mind that the following is coming from a critic of the Georgian administration, but he was an insider and he also went before his own government to give his assessment of the situation.

From BBC:

Erosi Kitsmarishvili, a former envoy to Russia, was testifying at a parliamentary commission hearing into the war the breakaway Georgian region.

One lawmaker threw his pen at Mr Kitsmarishvili and then had to be restrained as he charged towards him. [...]

“Russia was ready for this war, but the Georgian leadership started the military action first,” Mr Kitsmarishvili told the commission on Tuesday.

He said he had this information “from high-ranking Georgian officials”. However, he said he believed Georgia had been provoked into war by Russia.

What it seems like we have here is somebody who thinks Georgia was coaxed into conflict with Russia, but they still started it. This is what many of us said when the conflict happened during the campaign season, including Obama, but we were dismissed by the hawks as being soft of Russian aggression.

What a difference a couple months make…

Now, no doubt one man’s account doesn’t make any of this true, but since there has been so much silence out of the region since this whole thing started, one can’t help but think that there’s some truth to this. After all, if Georgia was genuinely attacked without provocation, the entire world would rally to its side. But that hasn’t happened.

So why is this important in the long run? Why do I even bother talking about it?

Because the US is currently trying to get Georgia and Ukraine into NATO before the next administration gets into office…

The United States has started an unexpected diplomatic initiative in Europe, urging NATO allies to offer Georgia and Ukraine membership in the alliance without going through a lengthy process and fulfilling a long list of requirements, NATO diplomats said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has had long telephone conversations with French, German and other senior European envoys, asking them to agree to bypass the formal application process, the diplomats said.

The proposal faces significant hurdles. At a NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania, in April, the United States failed to persuade NATO to offer the usual application process, known as a membership action plan, to Ukraine and Georgia. Instead, NATO leaders agreed that one day each country would join, without committing to a timetable.

Key question: why is the current administration doing this? Because late moves like this only seem they’re designed to create diplomatic problems for the next administration.

More as it develops…

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 and is filed under Foreign Policy, Georgia, Russia, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Former Ambassador Says Georgia Started Russia/Georgia Conflict”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Wow a Russian nationalist and former Russian official who is a long time critic of Georgia makes a vague and undetailed statement that “Georgia started it” so it must be true.

    Never mind that Russian-backed militants opened fire on georgian troops with artillery that was banned under a 1992 cease-fire agreement, or fighter planes had bombed georgian villages a day before the Georgians sent tanks into ossetia, or Russian heavy armor entered Georgia through the Roki tunnel prior to the georgian assault. You don’t even have to mention giving passports to Ossetians, or the “Putin is our President” propaganda campaign launched months before the violence erupted. What did Abkhazia have to do with anything during the assault? Why did Russia decide to annex that territory too? Don’t ask too many questions Justin, you’ll hurt your head.

    Some guy tells you what you want to hear because it makes a pro-U.S. ally look bad, you’ll drink it up. Russia must be right because Bush is Bad, or something like that. I guess India started this conflict today with the terrorists in Mumbai, because after all, an Pakistani anti-India critic blamed Indian policy for enraging the terrorists, and India is a pro-US ally.

    I…Drink…Your…KOOL AID!!


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