Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan. 10 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
Further in the south,
Georgia is emerging as a competitor and an alternative to Russian power, capable of influencing the situation in the region, The Jamestown Foundation - one of the most influential research centers in the U.S. said.
Tbilisi dramatically shifted its policy toward the North Caucasus and now seems to be poised to play a more dynamic role in this part of the region.
The Jamestown Foundation's experts believe
Russia will have to either reckon with the changing circumstances or embark on a more aggressive policy toward Georgia, which looks unlikely against the background of its own problems.
"2010 turned out to be more difficult for Russia than the previous year in terms of its problems in the North Caucasus. Nearly all top Russian officials, including Russia's president, have had to acknowledge the worsening situation in the region," the Foundation said.
According to the author, possibly increasing attacks in the North Caucasus will have an impact on the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, with Russian troops later occupying the city. The Russian armed forces drove the Georgian military back into Georgia proper moving towards Tbilisi. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic ties with the secessionist states on Sept. 9, 2008.