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Russia and Georgia

- August 8, 2008

p. The escalation of the conflict in South Ossetia is yet one more sign of Russia’s growing assertiveness in reclaiming the sphere of influence it relinquished when the Soviet Union collapsed. After forestalling a NATO offer of a membership action plan (MAP) for Georgia in April, Russia has been determined to ensure that NATO will not go forward with a MAP at the December NATO foreign ministers meeting or at next spring’s 60th anniversary NATO summit.

p. The increasing violations of Georgian sovereignty in recent months culminating in these latest Russian troop deployments are a worrisome sign of Moscow’s attitudes, not only toward Georgia but also toward the United States and Europe. And with limited U.S. (and European) options to help the two sides negotiate a peaceful solution to their disputes, further escalation is a dangerous possibility.