Saturday, September 6, 2008

EU against US fleet in Black Sea

ЕС - против флота США в Чёрном море

French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner has voiced opposition to the presence of a US fleet in the Black Sea. At a press conference in Avignon summarizing the results of an informal meeting of heads of Ministries of Foreign Affairs of EU member nations, he said that the presence of the US fleet in this region "serves no purpose. We need to defuse the situation," specifying that the crisis "can only be resolved politically, not by war ships."

Commenting on Vice-President Dick Cheney's announcement that the US would allocate $1 billion to Georgia, Kouchner said: "I am happy for this, but what does this change? We are also giving a lot of money for restoration (of Georgia); we're not competing." Story from Bloomberg.

US plans to establish military bases in Georgia

США планируют создание военных баз в Грузии

The US is planning to establish permanent naval bases on the coast of Georgia. Currently, there are intense negotiations between the US, Georgia, and Turkey concerning the future presence of war ships in Poti and Batumi.

According to Georgian sources, the bases will be designed for quick response. Another purpose for the bases is to provide security for the energy corridor, which crosses Georgian territory. However, Turkey's position on this issue is not yet clear as it is afraid of the Russia reaction.

After the crisis surrounding South Ossetia developed, 7 NATO war ships entered the Black Sea. Just yesterday, the flagship of the 6 vessel US fleet the "Mount Whitney" docked at the port in Poti.

Burjanadze Says Warned Saakashvili Over S. Ossetia

The following is taken from

Nino Burjanadze, the former parliamentary speaker, said it was too early to say if the crisis could have been avoided.

“I need serious analysis. I need answers to the questions,” she said in an interview with Reuters on September 5 after speaking at Columbia University in New York.

When asked what would happen if it does turn out to have been avoidable, she said: “In this case, I don't wish to be in the place of the government.”

“I can say it's very difficult to imagine a good position for the president of a country that has such big problems,” Burjanadze said. “I don't think that he feels himself comfortable and well or stronger than he was before.”

“However, we, the Georgian people, do not consider the government as victims only and, of course, the time will come for a sober assessment of what went wrong in Georgia.”

She said that she had met with President Saakashvili “few days before the crisis.”

“I expressed my views and my vision. I was sure that Russia will attack if there will be any kind of military action from the Georgian side, and I saw that Russia wanted to provoke Georgia.”

“I always thought there is no military solution for Ossetia and Abkhazia because Russia will fight, Russia will send troops, Russia will send arms, Russia will send aircraft.”

“I understood that it's a real disaster for my country,” she added.

[A little background, Burjanadze was once a very popular politician. She rose to power with Saakashvili and was seen as his closest ally. However, she shocked Georgia when she decided against running for re-election in the Parliamentary elections last May. It looks like she had seen the writing on the wall.]