Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tensions Escalate

It's been three weeks since Georgian forces invaded South Ossetia, prompting a swift counter-response by Russian forces, and Russia still does not appear interested in either withdrawing their forces from Georgia or helping to de-escalate the war of rhetoric between Russia and the West. On Tuesday Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, over the protests of the United States. Humanitarian aid being delivered to Georgia on NATO warships has prompted an assertive Russian response, which has responded by ordering more of their own warships to the Black Sea (though U.S. ships have declined to dock at the Russian-controlled Georgian port city of Poti.) Mysterious explosions on a Georgian railway have heightened suspicions that Russia is demonstrating it's ability to hamper energy supplies to Europe, and Russia's occupation in general has permanently damaged plans to turn Georgia into an alternative energy corridor that would circumvent Russian control of energy resources (a fact that the Russians were almost certainly considering when they invaded Georgia.) Russia's stubborness has prompted calls for sanctions by members of the European Union, a move that seems more likely now that Russia's Asian allies have failed to offer diplomatic support for Russia's actions.

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