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The West Should Unite in Support of Georgia

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Publication Date: April 2008

Publisher(s): Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Ariel Cohen

Series: WebMemo

Topic: International relations (International relations)

Keywords: Russia and Eurasia; South Ossetia; Abkhazia; Georgia

Type: Brief

Coverage: Russia (Federation) Georgia (Republic)


Throughout April, Russia has escalated its political and military pressure on its neighbor Georgia. At the NATO summit in Bucharest, President Vladimir Putin reportedly threatened to recognize the independence of the breakaway autonomous republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia if Georgia was granted a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for eventual accession to NATO. On April 16, despite France and Germany balking at providing a MAP, and apparently as retribution for the West's recognition of Kosovo's independence, Putin instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to upgrade the legal and economic ties between Russia and the secessionist governments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, violating Georgian sovereignty.