Global Politics

State department comments on Georgia

MB says the Russians are not being honest about the intent of their military actions in Georgia: clearly this was not a peacemaking operation as they claimed today. I think this is an attempt to unseat a democratically-elected government, and they view Georgia as a threat to Russia. (Some analysts say this is not aimed at Georgia but at the West and George Bush about the expansion of NATO, promoting democracy in places such as Georgia, about oil as gas, and about ignoring Russia.) I'm certain that there are some in the Russian government are motivated by these policies, but I reject them. (Georgians are expecting the US to help�what is the US doing?) There is no military solution to this. Bush made a tough statement last night which I think had an impact on the Russian government, when he said that the U.S. will not stand for this Russian aggression that aims to topple a democratically elected government. So now we might have to use economic institutions to get the Georgian economy growing and to build on the resilience of the Georgian economy and build an economic assistance package. (Has Russia become the enemy of the U.S.?) Russia is not an enemy. We are struggling to build a mutually beneficial partnership with Russia. Russia seems interested in frightening countries though. (What is the U.S. interest in Georgia?) We have interests in energy, that's what first brought us to Georgia. We have an interest in security cooperation and Georgia did have the third largest contingency of soldiers in Iraq and they're preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Finally, we have an interest in seeing their experiment in Georgia triumph.

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