Cover Osteuropa 10/2006

In Osteuropa 10/2006

A Bearish Turn
Georgia and Russia in a Spiral of Escalation

Walter Kaufmann

Deutsche Fassung


The conflict between Russia and Georgia has escalated to crisis. The public expulsion of Russian agents from Georgia provided the pretext. Russia reacted with sanctions and deportations. At the heart of the matter lie competing interests. Georgia is fighting for its territorial integrity. Russia is supporting the renegade regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia is drawn to NATO, which meets with displeasure in Russia. The actions of the parties to the conflict are counterproductive. Moscow’s manipulations and deportations strengthen the government of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. And his aggressive rhetoric and risky policy makes the reestablishment of Georgia’s territorial integrity more unlikely. With a policy of escalation both regimes are taking a bearish turn.

(Osteuropa 10/2006, pp. 117–121)