When it comes to incompetence, shilly-shallying and regular old procrastination you’ve got to hand it to the European Union – they’re experts. I mean let’s face it, the EU have done absolutely nothing one way or the other to help negotiate peace in the Georgia-Russia conflict and in the Caucasus. Sarkozy may have gone over to meet all the relevant parties but let’s be honest, he only did it as a publicity stunt because, as we know, Russia has in no way backed down from its stance.
One of the chief problems here is a post-war attitude of ‘spheres of influence’ and the sad fact is that the US, Europe and Russia are all caught up in this way of thinking. Russia believes Georgia should belong in its sphere, whereas the Americans and Europeans believe Georgia might feel more at home under the NATO wing. It is this way of thinking that brought on WWI and fed the burning embers which would later ignite WWII.
Georgian President Saakashvili has made huge mistakes in ignoring its neighbour Russia, siding with the Americans and wanting to tread all over Abkhazia and Ossetia. Russia, on the other hand, has shown a complete lack of diplomacy by moving in with its tanks whereas it might have been more reasonable to wait for an international force under their supervision. The EU have done very little apart from destroy the ozone layer with the huge amount of hot air and gas being released by its leaders.
Cold War II
Various posts, comments and replies around the blogosphere all seem to revolve around the same old themes: “The US is to blame for recognising Kosovo”, “Russia is right to support the independence of these two nations”, or “Stand up for yourselves, Georgia!”, “Let’s teach Russia a lesson”. The problem is there for all to see. The US (and the EU) versus Russia. Surely, this should really be about Georgia, Abkhazia and Ossetia. Can’t the big powers – for once – be negotiators and supporters of peace rather than churn up hatred and war?