Russian ‘Creeping Occupation’ Testing Georgian ‘Strategic’ Patience

“The Russian Federation is testing Georgia’s patience every single day, trying to involve us in a conflict,”said Georgia’s Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli, commenting on the events developing at the boundary line (ABL) of the Tskhinvali region, where Russian so-called peacekeepers have been set on splitting up families on the ground as they push the demarcation lines and grab more Georgian land.

While speculating that the government will not rise to Russian provocations, Russian troops have appeared only several hundred meters away from the central highway connecting Georgia to Turkey.  

“The tragedy that has been taking place along the artificially-drawn border over the past seven years is a matter of equal concern for everyone. However, our main aim is prevent our country from becoming the victim of constant Russian provocations,” said the Defense Minister, notwithstanding the fact that the Georgian government has been in a state of ‘strategic’ patience, despite many of its citizens regarding this as rather ‘strategic irrationality’.  

“Russia is making a huge mistake with its provocative actions, because it further escalates the already tense relations with the civilized world. However, it is their choice and Georgian statehood gains only more friends and supporters,” the Minister concluded.

As proof of Georgia’s international support on its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Elmar Brok, said that [they] support Georgia.“We want to demonstrate our support to Georgia and protest against Russia’s occupation policy by visiting the borderline. He added that Georgia has made [positive] progress regarding EU integration.

“The progress that Georgia showed in terms of EU integration is very positive. As for the territorial integrity and sovereignty issue, we do not recognize the occupation of your territories by any other country. We want to demonstrate our support to Georgia and protest against Russia’s occupational policy by visiting the borderline,” said the European politician.

In response to the aforementioned occupational policy, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated on the Public Broadcaster that Georgia will not accept occupation. “We will not accept or tolerate occupation. All Georgians have the same position about this issue. This is a painful topic for everyone. This is a topic that is fundamental to any Georgian.”

“Let’s look at the situation: there exist occupied territories; occupation is committed by our neighboring state; it is a crime that violates international law and humanitarian principles; it is a shameful act,” Margvelashvili maintained, adding that Georgia has the full support of the international community.

As the main legislative organ of the country, Georgian Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on the current situation happening along the ABL. The draft resolution by the Georgian Dream coalition has already been submitted along with one from the National Movement who have their own version.

Analysis by Georgia Today’s Zviad Adzinbaia:

The situation in Georgian occupied territories [territory] is very much part of Russia’s geopolitical game to [re]gain its influence in the regions of the South Caucasus and the Black Sea as it tries its best to ‘beat’ the West. The ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine is a clear demonstration of Russia’s strategic vision to control the former Soviet bloc and finally, to restore the USSR with its new [but archaic] idea of the Eurasian Union.

What will Georgia get from the situation? To fish in troubled waters and raise international support or play an appeasement and obscurantism game, which leads the country toward unending confusion? Georgia must, in these times, rely upon on a rational, pragmatic and clear foreign policy.

Zviad Adzinbaia

30 July 2015 21:22