Georgia/Russia news: 12 SEP 2008

NOTE: This is an informational compilation. GMF does not endorse, either explicitly or implicitly, the content contained herein.

 

NEWS

 

Putin tells Britain: relations can only improve when you remove dissidents

The Times (UK), Richard Beeston, 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “Vladimir Putin served notice yesterday that his country’s relations with Britain would never recover while London remained a base for antiRussian dissent €¦The former President stepped aside this year to make way for Dmitri Medvedev but spoke and acted very much like a head of state. At times he displayed anger, particularly when discussing the deployment of US warships off the Russian Black Sea coast.”

 

Stung by Criticism Over Georgia, Putin Asks West for a Little Understanding

New York Times (U.S.), Ellen Barry, 11 Sep 2008

Summary: “More than a month has passed since Russia sent columns of armor into Georgia, asserting its sphere of influence with a confidence not seen since the days of the Soviet Union. But since the first hours of this crisis, Russian leaders have been asking the same question with mounting frustration: Why is everyone blaming us for this?”

 

Putin denies Georgia link to market woes

Financial Times (UK), Stefan Wagstyl, 11 Sep 2008

Summary: “Vladimir Putin admitted on Thursday that foreign capital inflows could fall by up to 45 per cent this year, but rejected suggestions that turmoil in Russia’s financial markets was caused by the conflict in Georgia €¦Mr Putin blamed Russia’s outflow of capital on “speculative” moves by western institutions withdrawing funds because of the “mortgage crisis” in the US and Europe.”

 

Russia, Abkhazia, S.Ossetia to sign cooperation deals next week

RIA Novosti (RUS), 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “Nesterenko also said that Russia and Georgia’s rebel republics are currently working on draft military cooperation agreements that are aimed at ensuring stability and security for the residents of both regions.”

 

 

Ukraine comes to the forefront

The Economist, 11 Sep 2008

Summary: “THE first priority for Europe after Russia’s short August war with Georgia was to secure a ceasefire and a genuine pullback of Russian forces (see article). The second was to start fretting about Russia’s other neighbours. And the most significant of these by far is Ukraine. The Russians have been publicly silent about Ukraine in recent weeks, knowing that they hold some strong cards, besides having just defeated Georgia. Ukraine is almost entirely dependent on Russia for its oil and gas, for uranium enrichment, and as a market in which it can sell its own goods.”

 

Medvedev”would attack Georgia even if on NATO track”

Reuters, Janet McBride, Michael Stott and Christian Lowe, 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that even if Georgia were on a firm path to NATO membership, he would not hesitate to attack it under circumstances similar to last month’s conflict €¦The Russian president balanced his remarks by saying he did not believe the Caucasus crisis had caused a faultline in relations between Russia and the West, which would lead to another long period of confrontation.”

 

Palin takes tough line on Russia

Financial Times (UK), Edward Luce, 11 Sep 2008

Summary: “Sarah Palin, the running mate of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, on Thursday said the US would be obligated to go to war with Russia if it invaded a Nato ally €“ a status she advocated for Georgia, which Russia invaded last month.”

 

Abkhazia Now Craves Investors’ Recognition

The Moscow Times (RUS), Anna Smolchenko, 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “Abkhazia is looking to attract investors with sandy beaches, 220 days of sunshine every year and an airport that once served as a backup landing pad for the Soviet space shuttle.”

 

Belgium cancels warship visit to Russia

RIA Novosti (RUS), 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “Belgium has cancelled an official visit by one of its warships to Russia, a source in the Russian Navy said on Friday.”

 

COMMENTARY

 

Die Tär bleibt zu

Säddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Cathrin Kahlweit, 12 Sep 2008

Summary: Kahlweit states: “Moscow is not going to let EU-observers into South Ossetia €“ Brussels has to accept that”. She argues that the mild reaction from Brussels is a “victory of politics over rhetoric”, as “it is smart to not create too much pressure to even keep up the dialogue with the Russians.

 

Vladimir Putin eats three grapes and keeps Russia’s worst-kept secret

Financial Times (UK), Richard Beeston, 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “He hates the foreign media, bridles at the least provocation and rounds on his opponents like a terrier. But a three-hour lunch with Vladimir Putin at his favourite resort of Sochi reveals that the Russian Prime Minister has a sense of humour, can be charming and can turn his anger on and off at will.”

 

 

What Foreign Investors Fear the Most

The Moscow Times (RUS), Alexei Bayer, 12 Sep 2008

Summary: “Foreign investors are feeling the cold Soviet winds as well, and they have pulled about $25 billion out of Russia during the past three weeks, according to French investment bank BNP Paribas. After all, Soviet communism and the stock market make very bad bedfellows. Remember what the value of the RTS index was under Leonid Brezhnev? Zero, of course, because there was no stock value and no stock market under communism. This is what foreign investors fear the most as they watch precariously where Russia is heading.”