Skip to comments.Military help for Georgia is a 'declaration of war', says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the Wes
Posted on 08/28/2008 7:08:45 AM PDT by LibWhacker
Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a "declaration of war" by Russia.
The extreme rhetoric from the Kremlin's envoy to NATO came as President Dmitry Medvedev stressed he will make a military response to US missile defence installations in eastern Europe, sending new shudders across countries whose people were once blighted by the Iron Curtain.
And Moscow also emphasised it was closely monitoring what it claims is a build-up of NATO firepower in the Black Sea. Enlarge Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - the 'real architect' of the Georgia conflict - and the Security Council (unseen) in Sochi yesterday
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - the 'real architect' of the Georgia conflict - and the Security Council (unseen) in Sochi yesterday
The incendiary warning on Western military involvement in Georgia - where NATO nations have long played a role in training and equipping the small state - came in an interview with Dmitry Rogozin, a former nationalist politician who is now ambassador to the North Atlantic Alliance.
"If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia," he stated.
Yesterday likened the current world crisis to the fevered atmosphere before the start of the First World War.
Rogozin said he did not believe the crisis would descend to war between the West and Russia.
But his use of such intemperate language will be seen as dowsing a fire with petrol. Enlarge The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas at Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi today, carrying what the U.S. says is humanitarian aid
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Dallas at Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi today, carrying what the U.S. says is humanitarian aid
Top military figure Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies in Moscow, alleged that the US and NATO had been arming Georgia as a dress rehearsal for a future military operation in Iran.
"We are close to a serious conflict - U.S. and NATO preparations on a strategic scale are ongoing. In the operation the West conducted on Georgian soil against Russia - South Ossetians were the victims or hostages of it - we can see a rehearsal for an attack on Iran."
He claimed Washington was fine tuning a new type of warfare and that the threat of an attack on Iran was growing by the day bringing "chaos and instability" in its wake.
With the real architect of the worsening Georgian conflict - prime minister Vladimir Putin - remaining in the background, Medvedev followed up on Rogozin's broadside with a threat to use the Russian military machine to respond to the deployment of the American anti-missile defence system in Poland and the Czech republic.
Poland agreed this month to place ten interceptor missiles on its territory, and Moscow has already hinted it would become a nuclear target for Russia in the event of conflict. Enlarge A South Ossetian separatist fighter prepares to fire his weapon as another raises the South Ossetian and Russian flags, in Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia's separatist-controlled territory of South Ossetia yesterday
A South Ossetian separatist fighter prepares to fire his weapon as another raises the South Ossetian and Russian flags, in Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia's separatist-controlled territory of South Ossetia yesterday
"These missiles are close to our borders and constitute a threat to us," Medvedev told Al-Jazeera television. "This will create additional tension and we will have to respond to it in some way, naturally using military means."
The Russian president said that offering NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine, two former Soviet republics, would only aggravate the situation.
Moscow has consistently expressed its opposition to the U.S. missile shield, saying it threatens its national security.
The U.S. claims the shield is designed to thwart missile attacks by what it calls "rogue states," including Iran.
Meanwhile, Russia - seen by the West as flouting international law - today demanded NATO abide by an obscure agreement signed before the Second World War limiting its warships in the Black Sea. Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin
Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin
"In light of the build-up of NATO naval forces in the Black Sea, our fleet has also taken on the task of monitoring their activities," said hawkish deputy head of Russia's general staff, Anatoly Nogovitsyn.
The Montreux Convention, as it is called, sets a weight restriction of 45,000 tonnes on the number of warships that countries outside the Black Sea region can deploy in the basin.
"Can NATO indefinitely build up its forces and means there? It turns out it cannot," said Nogovitsyn.
NATO has said it is undertaking pre-arranged exercises in the Black Sea involving US, German, Spanish and Polish ships. Two other US warships sailed to Georgian waters with humanitarian aid.
Georgia is poised to sever diplomatic relations with Russia, or reduce them to a bare minimum.
"We will drastically cut our diplomatic ties with Russia," said a top official.
President Mikhail Saakashvili said he was frightened to leave Georgia to attend the EU summit on the crisis.
"If I leave Georgia, the Russians will close our airspace and prevent me from returning home," he said.
Russia sought Chinese backing for its action - but the Communist regime in Beijing appeared reluctant to offer support, instead issuing a statement saying it was "concerned" about recent developments.
NATO called for Russia to reverse its decision on recognition for the two enclaves, both Georgian under international law.
But the new 'president' of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoyty, called for Russian military bases on his territory.
French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner warned today that an marauding Russian bear could trample over other ex-Soviet states.
"That is very dangerous," he said, pointing at Ukraine and Moldova.
Russian leadership seems to have gone mad.
Guess someone called him pooty poot once too often.
It’s tempting to think Russia is acting like a rabid dog. Paranoia on a national scale. Amazing.
When does the ballon go up?
Nazi Russia continues to rely on the Hitler playbook.
It already happened back in the early 80s. There were 99 of them. Luftballoons.
“Russian leadership seems to have gone mad.”
Maybe they just never changed in the 90’s.
The Russians have been so over-the-top in their war rhetoric these last couple weeks that one can’t help but consider the possibility that it’s all designed to influence the U.S. election. .....in McCain’s favor, presumably.
Hopefully not until I have relocated my family far from L.A. and to place with a nice big basement.
That don't make any sense.
If the U.S. electorte’s mind is focused on national security issues it heavily favors McCain, obviously. WHY the Russians would prefer McCain is anyone’s guess.
And just what is the current state of the Russian military — conventional arms in particular? Can’t be all that great.
Bring it on and make my day, Vlad?
Just a thought...
Russia is trying to prevent U.S. action in Iran, by creating another front.
Nuclear Subs. They have a real Military.
This type of rhetoric is unnecessary if the Russians' sole purpose was to open another front to prevent U.S. action in Iran.
Thats the spirit! Just don’t forget to duck and cover...
The old Commies were right. Politics is like fighting with bayonets. When you strike a soft spot, push forward. When you strike steel, pull back. Putin knows this all too well.
Rove you magnificent bastard.
Putin said the U.S. started it to help McCain:
Russia miscalculated. Happens in all wars. Tzu once said that before a war, the two opposing sides think they know what the other side is doing or thinking, but once the war starts they will find out that they really do not know. Russia thought NATO/EU will cower, former Soviet Republics and Eastern Europe will not condemn them and most important, China the other anti US nation will back them. Guess what, all pre war notions are slowly being invalidated. The longer Russia remains in Georgia, the worst for Russia because the excuse of protecting ethnic Russians no longer hold water. In a multipolar world, China would not mind if US and Russia gets into another Cold War because such a conflict will suck resources from the opposing nations while China preserves hers as she builds up her economic power and influence in Far East Asia. I think Russia is slowly realizing this. The Russians need to remember that China is her neighbor while the US happens to be in the neighborhood.
I was thinking the same thing from the start. It is almost like play to McCain. The ONLY reason I could see Russia playing to McCain is they are afraid of Obama Bin Biden.
The good news is that despite their rhetoric, they are not like Osama or Iran. They get the idea of mutually assured destruction. So, the nukes are less of a threat from them.
Conventionally speaking, how are we situated for a massive air strike to take out a good portion of their military assets in the Georgian region?
Or what other non-nuke assets can we bring to bear to back up the original premise of, ”Bring it on, Vlad?”
We are being invaded from Illegal Foreign Nationals. We don't have a Energy policy. We are gonna ship our investments and jobs overseas when we raises taxes. Our Gov’t is bloated and ineffective.
We are doing a pretty good job of self destructing on our own.
Seems to me that it’s time to have the Navy take back the Port of Poti, clearly on Georgian soil, and the key ingredient for the Georgian economy.
And maybe kick a little ass at the same time.
In a fight with the U.S., Russia’s military would resemble a shooting star - short, bright and lasting about two seconds.
Horrid, if not downright dangerous, reporting.
This is the headline: “Military help for Georgia is a ‘declaration of war’, says Moscow in extraordinary warning to the West”
This is what was actually said:
“If NATO suddenly takes military actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, acting solely in support of Tbilisi, this will mean a declaration of war on Russia,” he stated.
Helping Georgia militarily (training, equipment, etc) isn’t the same thing at all as a unilateral NATO action to retake South Ossetia.
Russia main goal is to reclaim lost Soviet territory by force. However, it would like to distract America to reduce its involvement. Both the election and problems in Iran provide distractions. If necessary, Russia will skip the distraction, and provide its own excuse by exaggerating events in Georgia or elsewhere.
Conclusion: Russia has already declared [cold] war, and we must do the same. The only difference between cold and hot is that shots are not being fired with any regularity.
Another motivation for Russia’s action now, I assert, is that Russia believes it can deliver a near-knockout blow to our computing infrastructure at will. I refer to the millions of PCs in private the government hands, on which our economy and readiness depend. Much of our anti-virus software comes from Russia. I speculate, but I believe accurately, that Russia can bring down a large percentage of our computers whenever it chooses, damage or destroy data, and steal their information. We very much need to evaluate and remove this risk.
Because the Russians have their own problems with Islamofascists. Remember Beslan?
Huh? Norton and McAfee are Russian?
Millions of PCs run anti-virus software from Russian companies. What if those companies were prevented from releasing a fix for a virus created by the Russian government?
Wasn't there a movie about that?
Actually two. One with Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, and Janet Leigh from 1962. One with Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, and Meryl Streep from 2004.
Best rush your preparations to completion.
It appears that the Chinese are backing the Russians in the matter.
Getting back to the point about their military readiness and their threats of military action against our assets...
I wonder about what is really going on behind the scenes in this whole thing. What is Bush really saying to Putin on the hotline?
Russians understand force and power — shoved right in their face. Nixon knew they respect that. may not like it, but they respect it.
I hope the conversation is long those lines or we are in for a much bigger problem down the road.
Sounds clear to me.
Back to that Cuba situation...
Has the Mount Whitney transited the Turkish straits yet?
I have no reason to think so. However, at least two major anti-virus companies are based in Russia. There may be more than that. Rather than have me build what I think is the comprehensive list, U.S. legislation should require the origin of all commercial software be disclosed on packaging and advertising. The key ideas are: 1) who has custody of the sources; 2) where does development occur; 3) where is the product constructed from sources (compiled, linked, and made into an installer). If these locales are disclosed, and companies required to certify, for example, that software sources are U.S. based, and the product was built in the U.S., then a big vulnerability will have been partially addressed. Also, customers will have the ability to choose whether to buy software with ANY Russian content. (I think the answer to that question in many cases will be NO, NEVER.)
You need to read the SCO statement carefully. The SCO did not condemn Russia but at the same time did not encourage Russia. Russia was hoping for more solid support, but they did not get any. Simply put, China does not have a dog in the fight over Georgia. Furthermore China would not mind seeing Russia and US/EU spend resources fighing each other while she builds up her own economic (thus military) power unscathed in any wars or fights. Before China embarked on free markets in the late 1970’s, they sent a group of scholars to study how the US achieved world power status starting in the late 19th Century to modern times. The conclusion they drew was that the US first developed economic power and during that period kept out of major international conflicts. China will adhere to that policy as long as Taiwan does not declare independence and no nation physically occupy the Spratley Islands. China’s long term goal is to achieve economic immenence (backed by a modern military a modern economy can buy) in the Far East and use finance to dominate her neighbors. She has already tempered US attitude towards her with her financial clout as we struggle with our bank failures, high government debt and etc. China exercises her power behind the scene and rarely in public, and many US citizens are unaware of it. Do you know how many US companies who rely on exports to Far East lobby Congress on China’s behalf?? Why do you think GWB was forced to attend the Bejing Olympics despite Tibet???? Have you ever considered that it happened when our banks were in deep problems and needed foreign cash, and our government needed buyers of US T Bills to finance our guarantees to these failing banks??? There is an old saying about Russia, US and China style of exercising power and dominance. Russia plays chess (manuever and attack), US plays Monopoly (invest and control) and China plays Go (surround and dominate).
If push comes to shove, they will support Russia, if only as some sort of Quid Pro Quo, to gain access to Siberian resources.
In that way China is a bit like Japan was, resource poor. They do have plenty of coal, but are sort on oil and "living room", and many other important materials.