Friday, 2 May 2014

South Ossetia scenarios by Thomas de Waal

Article by the Caucasus expert Thomas de Waal on whether Putin and Co. are likely to try it on in Georgia. The Russian deputy Leonid Slutsky has been sniffing around South Ossetia, which is bad news as he's previously shown a similar interest in Crimea and Gagauzia:
Georgians are nervously worrying about a new wave of Russian pressure tactics against them, designed to halt the planned signing of a European Union Association Agreement in June. But at the moment the only news in Georgian-Russian relations is the continued thaw: the renewal of trade and talk of the restoration of a direct air link. 
So one wise Georgian politician told me the government is also bracing itself for another Russian tactic: a charm offensive in which Moscow offers Tbilisi a new deal over South Ossetia in return for Georgia renouncing its European path. 
If either of these scenarios come to pass we can be sure of one thing: ordinary South Ossetians will not be consulted about what the Russian leadership intends for them.

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