Tbilisi: Russian paper: U.S. to increase pressure on Moscow

The Messenger, Georgia
Feb 25 2005

Russian paper: U.S. to increase pressure on Moscow

The Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta questions why the majority
of the Russian political elite still believes that the re-election of
George Bush is good for Russia.
It is true that, as Russian President Vladimer Putin has said,
American-Russian relations have visibly improved since Bush’s
“But this does not really comply with reality,” the paper writes.
“Relations between both presidents are really very good, but from the
point of view of cooperation between America and Russia, especially
in the post-Soviet area, this is far from the reality.”
It also notes that during the last four years, Russia was ousted from
almost all post-Soviet states, and the Bush administration, which had
spoken of its wish to take Moscow’s interests in this zone into
account, did nothing to help it or at least to achieve a compromise.
It seemed that it was good for Russia, the paper states, that Bush’s
administration considered Russia a country that can be a reliable
ally in the fight against terrorism. The paper thinks that this view,
which the United States has toward other countries including Ukraine,
Caucasus and Central Asia , helped free the Kremlin’s domestic
“This is very good if you are an ally in the fight against terrorism
and bad if you are not,” Kommersant writes. “America will work with
all of you, by making every effort to transform you into allies. On
the one hand, it is convenient for Russia when it is considered an
ally in the fight against terrorism, when nobody goes deep into its
domestic problems.”
The paper states that in contrast, the Americans does not accept
Russia’s wish to have its own spheres of influence.
“Here Russia loses, because Washington continues to force it out from
the sphere of the post-Soviet area. This is not a conflict, but
rather a conceptual misunderstanding between Moscow and Washington,
which can become the reason for a serious conflict,” the paper notes,
adding that 13 years have already passed and while analyzing events,
its obvious the situation has only been aggravated.

America’s “primitive” view of the Caucasus
In the same article, the paper states that now the main task facing
America is to dare Russia and start to actively deal with the
Caucasus at the risk of Russian-American relations.
“It seems that Washington is far from the idea of reaching out to the
Caucasus and what is more important we should not forget that America
has a rather primitive idea about the Caucasus. The United States,
for example, thinks that Armenia is not the Caucasus and they think
that it needs a special approach,” the paper writes.
As the situation gets worse, Americans will increase their pressure
on Moscow with the aim to internationalize peacekeeping forces in the
region. First of all they intend to deploy peacekeepers from other
CIS countries and NATO in the conflict zones of Abkhazia and South
“This will be inevitable,” the paper states, “if there is a large
scale military conflict in the Caucasus and Russia is not able to
settle it.” This will show the west that the region is becoming a
threat and they will have to intervene, the paper concludes.