President Putin has decided to push for closer ties with the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Osssetia which are attempting to become independent nations. The country of Georgia is furious at Putin’s actions since they regard Russia as interfering in their internal affairs. Putin insists his decision is designed to strengthen security and stability and does “not mean that Russia is making a choice in favor of confrontation with Georgia.” The government of Georgia believes the Putin ploy is an attempt to slowly move the breakaway areas into some form of collaboration with Russia, it not becoming states in the nation of Russia.
The United States and the European Union immediately joined in the Georgia protest against Russia’s action. The US State Department announced: “Our commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity is unshakable.”
Perhaps, there is another reason for Putin’s actions. He is sending a message to the United States and NATO that while missile bases can be constructed on the border of Russia, his nation can also play the role of regional destabilizer. Putin warned Bush at the recent NATO meeting that he could cause trouble. Are the missile bases worth the cost of creating tension in eastern Europe?