Georgia Ready to Down Russian Planes

Post-Soviet business: Ukraine sells missiles to Georgia

The conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia makes headlines in newspapers again. Everybody remembers the statement that was released by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov about possible preventive measures in the Pankisi Gorge. The minister stated: “If terrorists make another attempt from the territory of Georgia, or if we see that there is such an attempt being prepared, then we are not going to wait until the gunmen to get closer to the Russian border and dissipate.”

Then there was a statement from the US Secretary of State Colin Powell. He used other words, but the sense of his remark was actually the same. Powell claimed that it was up to Russia to decide what it should do for its own defense. Powell's remarks were in response to a question from ITAR-TASS journalist who asked him about the American reaction in case of a Russian special operation on the territory of Georgia.

Nevertheless, Powell believes that Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze also stands for rooting out terrorism in Georgia, especially in the Pankisi Gorge. Colin Powell believes that using a military force is not a way out for Russia in this respect. The US Secretary of State is certain that searching for a political solution would be the best way out.

According to Colin Powell, both Russia and Georgia are responsible for the cessation of the “Pankisi terrorism.” In addition, he stated that Russia, Georgia, and the USA are working on the issue together. However, Powell added that such efforts are not likely to grow into a joint army action.

Thus, the USA has actually answered the question that has been on everyone’s minds for a while. Everybody was wondering if the USA was going to take part in the anti-terrorism operation in the Pankisi Gorge. The answer is no. Washington does not actually care about Georgia now. America's prime goal at the moment is a war against Iraq. Yet, America is not willing to give up on Georgia and let Russia handle the problem alone. This explains such evasive statements (do what you want for your own defense, but don’t use your army).

Europe is not as preoccupied with Iraq as the US. Europe is free to make its political preferences. PACE approved a resolution, in which it was said that PACE does not acknowledge Russia’s right to carry out preventive operations. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe claimed that it was against Russia’s operation against the gunmen in Georgia for self-defense purposes. They referred to resolution 1269 of the UN Security Council (it was passed in 1999). Pursuant to this document, the Russian Federation or any other country is not allowed to use military force in Georgia.

The leader of the Russian delegation in the PACE, Dmitry Rogozin, claimed that the resolution was “pro-terrorist.” He added that the majority of European deputies had the psychology of those people that were ready to yield prior to the actual war.

In the meantime, Georgia is taking care of its arms. It seems strange, but Ukraine helps it with this goal. Slavic people sell weapons that can be used against other Slavic people in the future. As we can see, business has completely destroyed the friendship that used to be between the republics of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine is going to deliver a batch of missiles to the Georgian army. The missiles will be set up on the northern border of Georgia. Georgian defense officials believe that such missiles will be very helpful to provide more security for border areas. A spokesman for the Georgian Defense Ministry stated that Su-25 pursuit planes have already started patrolling the northern border of Georgia.

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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