With U.S.-Russia relations already at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War, renewed confrontation between Russia and Georgia would make matters considerably worse. David J. Kramer analyzes the likelihood of conflict between the two countries in the next twelve to eighteen months.
As part of the EU's Eastern Partnership, in June 2014, Georgia and the European Union signed this agreement, which includes a free trade area and EU's support in political reforms and in conflict resolution between Georgia and the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In November 2014, Russia and Abkhazia signed a military agreement and Russia and South Ossetia are expected to sign a similar treaty on alliance and integration in February 2015.
"Azerbaijan is arming to the teeth. Armenia is growing increasingly disillusioned with Russia, its main protector. And the potential for armed conflict in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region appears higher than it has been in years."
Leslie H. Gelb comments, "The president's decision to send Georgian troops to Afghanistan will infuriate Moscow -- and reveals his lack of appreciation for exactly what it takes to accomplish big priorities."
Veteran Eurasia expert Steven Pifer says Vice President Joseph Biden's trip to Ukraine and Georgia was meant to balance President Barack Obama's Moscow summit earlier in the month, but in both countries, Biden had to convey tough messages.
Robert E. Hunter, who was U.S. ambassador to NATO during the Clinton administration, says he does not expect NATO foreign ministers to enlarge the alliance to include Georgia or Ukraine at the next meeting in December.
Robert E. Hunter, a former U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, says Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili miscalculated by sending troops into South Ossetia in mid-August, but in the end, "Russia is the loser here."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), advisers to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, make recommendations for U.S. policy toward Russia and Georgia. In an op-ed, Graham and Lieberman say the United States and Europe should work to prevent Russia from "achieving its strategic objectives in Georgia."
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