Tuesday, August 12, 2008
(Former German Foreign Minister Fischer's piecein Die Zeit also illustrates some of the real divergences in perspectives.
Now that we have the news that French President Sarkozy, having met with Russian President Medvedev, has unveiled a plan for restoring peace to the Caucasus. It is not clear whether Washington will like provisions four--calling for Georgia to withdraw its forces to the pre-conflict lines outside of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in essence returning to the status quo of these two provinces being de facto independent--and five, which not only keeps Russian forces in place as peace-keepers but allows for them to be reinforced. Having a new round of discussions on final status for the two provinces--provision six--may also be problematic for Washington because it has endorsed complete reintegration of these two provinces with Georgia, whereas European negotiators may be more inclined to explore Kosovo-style options.
At any rate, Sarkozy's visit to Russia doesn't bode well for U.S. calls for a forceful Western response.