Georgia tensions still high

The White House said Vice President Cheney's trip to Georgia was in the works before war erupted in Georgia earlier this month. A White House spokesman today said it's important to have Cheney consult with allies in the region on our common security interests. The White House has also spoken about how Russia's aggression must not go unanswered. Georgia's President today condemned Russia's vote for support for independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Germany today called on Russia's President not to recognize the territories, and Britain warned that such recognition would stoke tensions in the Caucuses. If Russia backs independence, the two territories could apply for independence with the U.N. This analyst says today's vote in Russia isn't likely to go as far as the U.N. or even the Kremlin. She says the consequences for Russia would be very serious and political forces in Russia are aware of this. At the same time, Georgia's hopes of pulling the country together into one happy union also appear to be wishful thinking. This analyst says Georgia's decision to go into South Ossetia heightened South Ossetia and Abkhazia's fear of Georgia. Both the territories have had de facto independence since the early 1990s and in that time have enjoyed diplomatic, military, and economic support from Russia. The analyst argues things wouldn't be much different on the ground if one or both of the territories gained their independence. The consequences for Russia are much larger and NATO could terminate any cooperation with Moscow as a result. That doesn't seem to concern the Russian President.

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