President Dimitry Medvedev made clear to Western nations his country was not afraid to challenge the European Union and the United States on recent events in Georgia. He announced a decree had been signed recognizing Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations. He insisted the decision was necessary because of Georgia policies that he termed as “genocide.” In defiant tones he said: “We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new cold War. But, we don’t want t, and in this situation everything depends on the position of our partners.” His statement resulted in a dramatic drop in the Russian stock market which plunged 6.1%.
President Saakashvili interpreted the Medvedev statement as evidence that (Russia’s) invasion of Georgia was part of a broader premeditated plan to redraw the map of Europe.” The problem with the Saakashvili comment is that Georgia was the one which initiated the war, not Russia. If Georgia had not sent its forces into the two breakaway provinces, Russia would have remained on the sideline. How could Russia be responsible for a “premeditated attack” when everything revolved around Georgia’s decision to send or not send forces into the regions?