Russia Creates Problems for Its Own Security

Politics Materials 30 August 2008 11:38 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 August/ Trend , corr V. Zhavoronkova, E. Tanriverdiyeva/ Russia has created problems for itself, first of all for its own security by interfering in the military confrontation between Georgia and South Ossetia and by recognizing independence of two breakaway regions of Georgia.

"It is not so much a question of world community punishing Russia as it is one of not preventing Russia from punishing itself," Mark N. Katz, the US expert on Russia said to Trend .

When the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia sharpened and Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev decreed to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This move was condemned by the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other EU and US officials.

The first result of Russia's military intervention in Georgia and recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was the agreement on deployment radar of US missile shield in Poland, which contradicts Kremlin's interests, experts say.

Following the outbreak of conflict in Georgia, Foreign Ministry of Poland ratified the agreement with US to deploy missile defense facilities in the territory of Poland, which was opposed by Moscow repeatedly. So, talks between Washington and Warsaw on this issue held for the last months, yielded results.

"The provision of patriot missiles to Poland should be seen as the first step in uniting of West against Russia," Janusz Bugajski, US expert said to Trend .

The political observers disagree whether the conflict in Georgia encouraged the signing of agreement between Warsaw and Washington.

The talks on the deployment of missile shield in Poland were delayed as the Polish Prime Minister was reluctant to sign it and put forward various terms. Precisely because of Russia's intervention to Georgia, the Polish Prime Minister changed his position, Pavl Felgengauzer, the Russia expert said.

"He sought to reach agreement with Americans and to achieve compromise soon," the military expert Felgengauzer said to Trend .

This is only first bad consequence of NATO's enlargement for Russia, experts say.

"If NATO is serious in restoring its credibility after the failure in Georgia a muchmore assertive policy needs to be devised," Janusz Bugajski, Director of New European DemocraciesCenter for Strategic and International Studies said.

Expert believes first, NATO MAPs must be offered to Georgia and Ukraine and security of current NATO members strengthened by enhancing their defense capabilities.

One more bad consequence for Moscow may be that it can set a bad example for the rebel region within Russia.

According to Bugajski, Russia's recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia will set a precedent for Russia itself. "It could be time to start supporting the independence of Chechnya and othernations who do not wish to live under Moscow's control," he said.

The next serious loss for the Russian Federation can be aggravation of relations with West.

Certain West European nations seemed to delight in having good relations with Russia.  Now they're not so happy, said Katz, the US expert on Russia. Especially since they can't do much about Russia without America, said Katz, professor of politics of George Mason University.

According to Katz, although most of the world is appalled by what Russia has done in Georgia, Moscow thinks it has achieved a great victory. ".  If Putin attempts to achieve other such "victories," more governments will become fearful of Russia and seek to work with the U.S.," expert said.

There are some, of course, that may become so frightened of Russia that they even fear working with the U.S. against it.  But these aren't useful allies to Moscow in the long run. For the moment such "allies" see an opportunity to do so, they will break away from Russia, Katz said.

"Putin can definitely make others fear Russia, but this does not mean they will respect it.  They will instead work against it.  And as in the Soviet era, Russia will find itself isolated," Katz said.

The correspondent can be contacted at - [email protected]