View Full Version : A de facto new NATO member on Russian border? U.S. & Georgia sign intelligence agreement

05-09-2017, 06:29 PM
U.S. & Georgia sign intelligence sharing agreement: a defacto NATO agreement on Russia border? (http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2017-05/09/content_40778604.htm)

The United States and Georgia on Tuesday signed an intelligence sharing agreement that represents "a major milestone in security cooperation" between the two countries, the U.S. State Department said.

The deal, known as U.S.-Georgia General Security of Information Agreement (GSOIA), establishes a legal foundation for bilateral intelligence sharing and will strengthen counterterrorism cooperation between the two countries, the State Department said in a statement.

The agreement, signed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, will also enhance the Georgian military's interoperability with the armed services of NATO member states.

After signing the agreement, Tillerson met with Kvirikashvili and reaffirmed U.S. support for continued progress toward Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration.

The top U.S. diplomat also reiterated the "steadfast" commitment of the United States to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.


So the question is:

South Ossetia and Abkhazia consider themselves as independent oblasts and the vast majority of people within them do not want to ever become part of Georgia.

Georgia, however, believes both of them are Georgian territory (and, as we all know, Georgia (backed by the U.S. and pushed by Soros and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)) invaded South Ossetia in 2008.

So the question is: Is the U.S. going to continue to push for South Ossetia and Abkhazia to become part of Georgia, or is the U.S. simply going to accept the status quo and the self-determination of the people in these oblasts which want no part of Georgia?

Political Status: South Ossetia

Following the 2008 South Ossetia war, Russia recognized South Ossetia as independent.[95] This unilateral recognition by Russia was met by condemnation from Western Blocs, such as NATO, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Council due to the violation of Georgia's territorial integrity.[96][97][98][99] The EU's diplomatic response to the news was delayed by disagreements between Eastern European states, the UK wanting a harsher response and Germany, France and other states' desire not to isolate Russia.[100] Former US envoy Richard Holbrooke said the conflict could encourage separatist movements in other former Soviet states along Russia's western border.[101] Several days later, Nicaragua became the second country to recognize South Ossetia.[95] Venezuela recognised South Ossetia on September 10, 2009, becoming the third UN member state to do so.[102]
The European Union, Council of Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and most UN member countries do not recognize South Ossetia as an independent state. The de facto republic governed by the secessionist government held a second independence referendum[103] on 12 November 2006, after its first referendum in 1992 was not recognized by most governments as valid.[104] According to the Tskhinvali election authorities, the referendum turned out a majority for independence from Georgia where 99% of South Ossetian voters supported independence and the turnout for the vote was 95%.[105] The referendum was monitored by a team of 34 international observers from Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden and other countries at 78 polling stations.[106] However, it was not recognized internationally by the UN, European Union, OSCE, NATO and the Russian Federation, given the lack of ethnic Georgian participation and the legality of such a referendum without recognition from the Georgian government in Tbilisi.[107] The European Union, OSCE and NATO condemned the referendum.

Parallel to the secessionist held referendum and elections, to Eduard Kokoity, the then President of South Ossetia, the Ossetian opposition movement (People of South Ossetia for Peace) organized their own elections in contemporaneously Georgian-controlled areas within South Ossetia, in which Georgian and some Ossetian inhabitants of the region voted in favour of Dmitry Sanakoyev as the alternative President of South Ossetia.[108] The alternative elections of Sanakoyev claimed full support of the ethnic Georgian population.[citation needed]

In April 2007, Georgia created the Provisional Administrative Entity of South Ossetia[109][110][111][112] and staffed by ethnic Ossetian members of the separatist movement. Dmitry Sanakoyev was assigned as the leader of the Entity. It was intended that this provisional administration would negotiate with central Georgian authorities regarding its final status and conflict resolution.[113] On 10 May 2007, Sanakoyev was appointed by the President of Georgia as the Head of South Ossetian Provisional Administrative Entity.

On July 13, 2007, Georgia set up a state commission, chaired by the Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, to develop South Ossetia's autonomous status within the Georgian state. According to the Georgian officials, the status was to be elaborated within the framework of "an all-inclusive dialogue" with all the forces and communities within the Ossetian society.


Political Status: Abkhazia

Abkhazia is a partially recognised state on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus Mountains, south of Russia and northwest of Georgia proper. It covers 8,660 square kilometres (3,340 sq mi) and has a population of around 240,000. Its capital is Sukhumi. The separatist Abkhazian polity, formally the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny,[6][7][8][9][10] is recognised only by Russia and a small number of other countries. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government, the United Nations and the majority of the world's governments consider Abkhazia part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.


Here's an interesting study done in 2014 related to all this:

How people in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria feel about annexation by Russia:

By Gerard Toal and John O'Loughlin March 20, 2014

Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail) is Director of the Government & International Affairs program at Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region campus in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. John O’Loughlin is College Professor of Distinction and Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

In the wake of the brazen yet choreographed annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation many are wondering who is next on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s list? Beyond the worrying prospect of Russian irredentism in eastern and southern Ukraine, speculation inevitably falls upon three post-Soviet de facto states that have long been propped up by financial subventions from Moscow. The Kremlin recognized two of these separatist entities as independent states in August 2008 following the short Russo-Georgian war: the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia, both in Georgia. The third, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR), commonly known as Transnistria to English-speakers, remains unrecognized by Moscow. (This week its Supreme Soviet sent an official note asking if, in the light of Crimea, it, too, could join the Russian Federation).

Since South Ossetia and Abkhazia have garnered little recognition as independent states, all three remain de facto states, namely political entities that have achieved enduring ‘internal sovereignty’ on a portion of the territory of a recognized post-Soviet state – in this case the Republics of Georgia and Moldova — but lack ‘external sovereignty’ in the international system. While not officially recognized, de facto states are enduring entities on the world political map, and their politics and populations deserve nuanced study.

So how do people in these entities feel about Russia? In 2008 we began a research project to study public attitudes and internal dynamics within the post-Soviet de facto states in the wake of the ‘Kosovo precedent.’ Putin described this self-servingly in his address to the State Duma on March 18 as “a precedent our western colleagues created with their own hands….when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities.” (Kosovo, of course, was not subsequently annexed as Crimea was). Our research was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and involved invaluable cooperation from Vladimir Kolossov of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.

We traveled to Transnistria and Moldova in June 2009, to Abkhazia in late 2009, South Ossetia in the spring of 2010, and a fourth de facto state that has separated from Azerbaijan, the Nagorny Karabakh Republic, in summer 2011. As well as conducting elite interviews, we also contracted for public opinion surveys to be conducted following established and rigorous social science standards in each location. Social scientific research faces significant logistical, political and ethical challenges in de facto states. Despite limitations, we were able to organize representative public opinion surveys in all four entities. Our research has generated a series of academic papers, with more in preparation. These shine some light on the entities Charles King once termed “informational black holes.” We report here the results of three key questions.

http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag411/carol_green2/My%20Public%20Album/Politics%20--Public%20Album/War/Dissolution%20of%20Soviet%20Union%20good%20or%20ba d_zpsaustdpt3.jpg (http://s1374.photobucket.com/user/carol_green2/media/My%20Public%20Album/Politics%20--Public%20Album/War/Dissolution%20of%20Soviet%20Union%20good%20or%20ba d_zpsaustdpt3.jpg.html)

While the collapse of the Soviet Union was nonviolent in most places, the waning of centralized power and absence of Moscow as outside arbitrator triggered violence in Moldova and the Caucasus. A ‘war of laws’ between nested Soviet governance structures spiraled into ethno-territorial conflict, war and forced population displacement. South Ossetia’s population fell from 98,527 in 1989 to an estimated 40,000 today (some estimates are lower). Abkhazia had 525,061 people in 1989, over 45 percent of whom were ethnic Georgians. This population was largely driven from their homes in the wake of the brutal war of 1992-94, with the partial exception of the southern Gal(i) District. The 2011 census in Abkhazia recorded its population as around 240,000, an estimated considered high by some. Violence was briefest in Moldova, with PMR establishing itself largely but not exclusively on the eastern bank of the Dniester/Nistru River. Its latest census records places its population at over 555,000, a multiethnic population made up of self-identifying ethnic Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians and others, all significantly Russophones living in a Russified cultural sphere distinct from the rest of Moldova.

The collapse of the Soviet Union, in sum, was felt acutely in these, for the most part, formerly relatively prosperous regions within the Soviet Union. It is thus little surprise that the strong majority of people of all ethnicities (except the ethnic Georgians in Abkhazia) consider the dissolution of the Soviet Union a ‘wrong step” as they lost the economic security and political stability of that regime. Vladimir Putin’s much cited, and over-interpreted “geopolitical catastrophe” remark resonates with most. The two decades since have been characterized by political uncertainty, economic isolation, recurrent violence (in Georgia) and widespread poverty.

http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag411/carol_green2/My%20Public%20Album/Politics%20--Public%20Album/War/Trust%20of%20Russian%20Leadership_zpsqhcbexij.jpg (http://s1374.photobucket.com/user/carol_green2/media/My%20Public%20Album/Politics%20--Public%20Album/War/Trust%20of%20Russian%20Leadership_zpsqhcbexij.jpg. html)

Our survey research in the three entities was conducted while Dmitry Medvedev was president and Vladimir Putin was Premier of the Russian Federation. Amongst the many questions we asked about trust, inter-ethnic relations and geopolitical orientations, was one concerning the Russian leadership. As the survey results reveal, there are strong levels of trust of the Russian leadership. With the important exception again of self-identifying ethnic Georgians (mostly Mingrelain language speakers) in Abkhazia, residents of the three de facto entities look favorably upon the Moscow power center and in South Ossetia and PMR, trusted Medvedev/Putin more than their respective presidents. In a parallel question in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, more than 75 percent of the Abkhaz, Armenians and Russians in Abkhazia and Ossetians in South Ossetia want the Russian troops on their territory to “remain forever.” For populations who see themselves as the targets of Georgian military action in 2008, the Russian troop presence allows them to “sleep well in their beds,” a phrase often repeated in the Georgian separatist regions.

http://i1374.photobucket.com/albums/ag411/carol_green2/My%20Public%20Album/Politics%20--Public%20Album/War/Decision%20on%20Political%20Future_zpsj6i2pahe.jpg (http://s1374.photobucket.com/user/carol_green2/media/My%20Public%20Album/Politics%20--Public%20Album/War/Decision%20on%20Political%20Future_zpsj6i2pahe.jpg .html)

With three options of independence, integration into Russia or return to the ‘parent state’ (Georgia or Moldova), opinion in the three de facto states is more mixed than for other questions. Only small minorities prefer a return to the situation at the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union, though the high ratios of ‘don’t know/refuse to answer’ among Georgians/Mingrelians in Abkhazia suggest a hesitancy to give an honest answer on this question. For most residents, it’s a straight choice between independence (which Abkhazia and South Ossetia believe they already have) and annexation to Russia. While majorities of Russians and Ukrainians in the PMR, Ossetians and Armenians in Abkhazia prefer to be part of Russia, support for the status quo is seen in Abkhazia by the politically-dominant Abkhaz and those Georgians/Mingrelians who ventured an opinion.

The conclusion is that the prospect of annexation by the Russian Federation would likely be welcomed by a plurality of residents of Transnistria, and the overwhelming majority of those remaining in South Ossetia. Abkhazia is a more complex case. It seems likely its ethnic Abkhaz-dominated power structure would have difficulties resisting its paymasters in Moscow if the latter decided they were open to ‘welcoming’ the republic into the Russian Federation.

Annexations such as these, like that of Crimea, would obviously be viewed widely as illegal acts, and vociferously opposed by the parent governments of Moldova and Georgia. De facto state leaders claim that the uti possidetis juris principle that allowed constituent Soviet Republics to be recognized as international states violated their self-determination rights, and that their entities consolidated in defensive response to the aggressive ethnonationalism (‘fascism’) that swept to power in the post-Soviet parent state. They, in short, have long articulated the storyline that Russia recently used to justify its actions in Crimea. But, unlike Crimea, they did experience war and ethnicized violence, were never willingly part of a post-Soviet successor state, and have endured despite international isolation for over 20 years. [Note: I personally disagree with this last statement: according to Lew Rockwell, Crimea never wanted to be part of Ukraine and every year since the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to remain autonomous from Ukraine. Of course, Kiev never paid attention to this yearly vote by Crimeans for self determination.]

Crimea has now eclipsed Kosovo as the most relevant and meaningful precedent for post-Soviet de facto states. Were the Russian government to repeat the same secessionist choreography they just used – beefed up troop presences on the ground, a sponsored flash referendum, quick recognition and acceptance of the results in Moscow, followed by formal annexation – the Crimea precedent would likely gather up three of the four post-Soviet de facto states (Nagorno-Karabkh is the exception) for absorption into the Russian Federation. Europe’s political map would be re-written once again by reverberations from the collapse of the Soviet Union.