The smoldering – not ‘frozen’ – conflict with South Ossetia could be used by Moscow as a trigger for a chaotic destabilization of Georgia similar to the violent warlordism of the early 1990s.
Reprehensible as this sort of political behavior undoubtedly is, it is essential to remember that the Georgian leadership has been deliberately playing on tensions with Russia seeking to secure every bit of Western attention and aid. Nino Burjanadze, the speaker of Georgian parliament, is able to bring some elegance to this game, which she showed for instance addressing the ‘jubilee’ session of the Russian parliament in St. Petersburg on April 27, marking 100 years of the first Russian Duma. Others push it more blatantly, so that the economic stagnation aggravated by the haphazard pattern of reforms is blamed squarely on Russia and even the multiplying splits inside Saakashvili’s shrinking team are explained away as chiseled by the Kremlin’s ‘long hand’. Moscow could safely count on every kind of emotional and fundamentally inadequate response from Tbilisi to its sequence of simple steps in Ossetia.
Read it in CACI Analyst