Hostility Mounts Between Russia and Georgia

April 28, 2008 04:03 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The conflict over the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has escalated as Russia strengthens ties with the areas.

30-Second Summary

Russia is reputedly sending reinforcements to Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia, and “local residents were being forced to swap their ID cards for Russian passports,” reports The Moscow Times.

Although Russian-led peacekeeping forces have denied such actions are being taken, Georgian television station Rustavi 2 and Georgia’s minister for reintegration, Temur Iakobashvili, maintain that the passport exchanges have indeed taken place.

Last week, Russia-Georgia tension increased sharply after an unmanned Georgian spy plane was shot down in Abkhazia. Moscow denied Georgian accusations that Russia downed the plane, claming that Abkhazia air defenses were responsible. Russia also charged that by sending the plane into the region, Georgia had violated the 1994 ceasefire.

The current conflict stems from the separatist unrest Georgia faced in Abkhazia and South Ossetia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1993, Georgian troops were forced out of the region, and Russia has supported Abkhazian opposition ever since.

The Russia-Georgia conflict will be addressed at this week’s NATO Council meeting in Brussels.

Moscow’s feud with Georgia has also strained its relations with the United States. Although Washington has backed Georgia’s bid to join NATO, Russia’s opposition has pressured other members of the organization into denying Georgian membership.

Headline Links: Georgia objects to Russian involvement in Abkhazia

Background: Georgian spy plane shot down, and life in Abkhazia

Opinion & Analysis: The tense international situation

Related Link: ‘Are the Colors of Post-Soviet Revolution Fading?’

Reference: Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines