I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Winston Churchill

Oct 15, 2008

Improper Signalling from the Western Europe in Georgian Crisis

Recent conflict in Georgia left much space for evaluation and analysis. These events turned out to be absolutely unexpected for western leaders. Russia’s step - invading into sovereign country, occupying parts of its territory and declaring there independence was something that western leaders thought could have happened in 19-20th centuries, but deemed unacceptable for world of 21st century. Most probably West considered such a scenario having the same chance as an gigantic asteroid falling on the planet earth and probably that was why it took west so long to respond to this challenge. Besides the nature of this response left an impression that it was made without any clear strategy or plan. Initially EU leaders talked about imposition of economic sanctions, exclusion of Russia from G8 and preventing it from WTO membership. However later on they found these proposals to be unfeasible and eventually EU just expressed “concerns” several dozen times and “deep concerns” a bit fewer times that seems quite weak measure in the given circumstances.

Actually why this crisis was allowed to happen was improper signaling. It is important to understand that Russia is not a typical European country sharing values of liberal politics. Russia is a country with difficult background, present and maybe even future. Geopolitical location and cold climate has always been natural defensive fortress for Russia, therefore an empire that emerged in 15-16 centuries had tremendous potential. It gradually expanded its territories for the last three centuries reaching the peak during Soviet times. However after the collapse of Soviet Union Russia lost direct control over surrounding states (countries of Former Soviet Union), but for last 17 years still retained indict control over them.

Improper Signalling from the Western Europe in Georgian Crisis

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