World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

The West determined to take stronger position in Central Asia

Russian expert believes Georgia runs rather unfriendly politics against Russia

Recent events in South Ossetia should be considered in light of the West's aspiration to strengthen its positions in the Caucasus and Central Asia. This opinion was expressed to RIA Novosti by first deputy director of the CIS Institute, General Vladimir Romanenko.

“One should not separate the situation in South Ossetia from the situation in the Caucasus on the whole, as well as from NATO and EU's penetration in the Caucasus and Central Asia,” the renowned expert on the Caucasus said.

The expert believes NATO needs Georgia to establish contacts through Turkey between European members of the alliance and Central Asia. “Georgia is their main partner, of course. The republic is trying to use the current situation for its own purposes,” Romanenko noted.

The expert has an impression that “the goals set by the new Georgian administration do not adjust very well either with the history of relations between the two nations or with Georgia and Russia's up-to-date interests.

“Georgia lives at Russia's expense. It is time one should say it out loud. Ethnic Georgians take about two billion dollars out of Russia every year. We supply Georgia with energy carriers at low prices – cheap natural gas and cheap electric power,” the expert said in a statement.

“Despite all these things, Georgia has been running rather Russia-unfriendly politics lately,” Romanenko stated. The expert gave an example of such politics, when Georgian President Saakashvili released a statement in London, calling upon the West to “show pressure on Russia in order to solve the South Ossetian problem.”

“Thus, Georgia wants to settle the matter with the help of Russian peacemakers. This is the role that the Georgian government wants Russia to play. It is an insult for Russia,” Romanenko said. The expert believes such an approach will not result in the solution of current problems in the region. “The West does not understand the mindset of Caucasian nations. They do not understand that such development of the situation may lead to explosion. It may explode the whole Caucasus.” RIA Novosti quoted Romanenko as saying. He called upon the Russian government to conduct more active work with the West and more tough work with Georgia.

To regulate the situation in the conflict zone, Romanenko suggests “the level of peacemaking forces in the area should be raised.” According to the expert's opinion, only Russian military men have necessary skills. “They have gained rich experience of reasonable and resolute actions in various hotspots.”

The general doubts about the combatant value of the Georgian military men. “They dispersed in 1993 after a first direct strike,” said he.

In 1993 Major-General Vladimir Romanenko commanded the marines during the operation to stabilize the situation in Georgia. At that time Ex-President Zviad Gamsakhurdia's followers seized western Georgia and deprived the republic's capital Tbilisi of the access to the sea.