Cover Osteuropa 12/2008

In Osteuropa 12/2008

A Look Back at the “Five-Day War”
Dimensions and Implications of the Crisis in Georgia

Uwe Halbach

Deutsche Fassung


The shockwaves of the war in Georgia in the summer of 2008 have subsided. But the region remains a trouble spot and a topic of discussion between Russia and the West. It is keeping the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Union, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation occupied. The fact that South Ossetia and Abkhazia have yet to gain international recognition shows that Russia lacks allies. The EU has demonstrated an unexpectedly capacious ability to act. But the territorial integrity of Georgia, which is backed by the West, is confronted by hard reality. A reunification of the two territories with Georgia is unlikely. Their future status will resemble the Cyprus model. The crisis in Georgia has produced movement in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. But the crisis will prove positive only if the external parties to mediation cooperate, instead of compete, with one another.

(Osteuropa 12/2008, pp. 65–80)