Saturday, August 9, 2008

Expert: Explosion in Sochi, damage to the BTC Pipeline, arrests in Javakheti -- How Georgia prepared for war with Russia

Взрыв в Сочи, подрыв БТД, аресты в Джавахети - как Грузия готовилась к войне с Россией: эксперт

"The war in South Ossetia, or to be more precise, the beginning and script of this war--clearly miscalculated--has been specially orchestrated by Georgia and prepared with the active participation of the US," said Viktor Yakubyan, expert on problems in the South Caucasus, expressing his views in a conversation with an IA Regnum correspondent.

According to Yakubyan, Tbilisi's decision to attack South Ossetia was made with complete awareness of the scale of the consequences which would follow such an action. According to Yakubyan, both Georgia and the US have interests in this war. It could be said that these interests "don't match exactly, but could be combined." "The goal of the US is to involve Russia in an extremely complicated and very risky military campaign in order to keep Russia from making economic and international political progress, to create preconditions for the destabilization of the North Caucasus, and in due time to provide a new American administration free reign in its relations with Moscow, and at the same time spoil the Olympic celebrations in China. Georgia's goal is to once and for all rid itself of the "Ossetia problem" and to make South Ossetia and Tskhinvali unsuitable for living for years to come. Hence even the furious artillery attacks on the territory and the merciless destruction of civilian lives is based on ethnicity," said the expert.

According to Yakubyan, immediately before the military strikes in South Ossetia, or more simply, the invasion by Georgia, the scriptwriters of the war wrote in a few preventive measures. "First of all, the explosion in Sochi was an attempt to show Russia how tenuous its control over the region is and how undesirable a destabilized situation in Abkhazia would be, given plans to hold the Olympics in nearby Sochi [2014 Winter Olympics]. Secondly, the forceful actions in Javakheti and the arrest of activists of the local pro-Armenian movement were carried out to eliminate the possibility of undesirable scenarios in the rear--in Southern Georgia in case of extraordinary events surrounding South Ossetia. You could also count the damage done to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline (on Turkish territory!) as yet another prepatory action: the damaged pipeline has forced Azerbaijan to reduce the amount of oil it can release into the pipeline, which would be an attractive opportunity for Ossetia to inflict an environmental catastrophe on Georgia. As a result, as long as there is war, the BTC will remain dry," said Yakubyan.

"As we can see, the war in South Ossetia is a well-planned action, and not a response to any shootings of Georgian civilians in South Ossetia. And constitutional order in Georgia doesn't apply here. Since the day he took office, and even more so after the recognition of the Kosovo's independence, Saakashvili knew that neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia would return peacefully," notes the expert.

Speaking about the prospects of the situation, Yakubyan stated that drama-filled events await the region: "the war isn't being conducted against the Ossetians, but against Russia." "The war in South Ossetia cannot end in Russia's defeat, just as the war won't come to an end in general. The front will reach deep into Russia--into Ingushetia and North Ossetia. Difficult times lie ahead for Armenia, a state whose life-support depends on routes through Georgia--natural gas from Russia and the ferry in Poti. There is also a very small possibility that the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh could destabilize. "Hawks" in Baku are paying close attention to the events in South Ossetia in case the situation regarding the transportation links in Georgia continues to deteriorate. And if Russia becomes distracted, they could begin to stir. As for Abkhazia, currently, it has sent its army to Kodori, as there was a risk that after a certain period of time, the Georgian army could emerge from Kodori," summarized Viktor Yakubyan.

IA Regnum

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