‘Between America and Russia, the E.U. is On the Front Line’: EDITORIAL from Le Figaro
Continuing with our coverage of the unfolding crisis in the Caucasus, Le Figaro’s Pierre Rousselin grapples with the question of how the conflict began and what France and the E.U. should do about it. He writes in part:
“The entire relationship between Russia and the West hangs in the balance … Did Georgia deliberately initiate the conflict in wanting to regain control of South Ossetia? If so, did it get the green light from Washington? Or is it the contrary: that Russia, by the extent of its reaction, is the aggressor? … Rather than seeking to designate those responsible for the crisis and brandishing condemnations, it is more useful to define the principles on which to base a political solution to a situation that is in many respects, inextricable.”
“It would be absurd to humiliate Russia. But demanding that it stop the creeping annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by encouraging the separatists has become an international priority. This is a precondition for serious negotiations with Moscow on the status of the two breakaway regions. … European diplomacy must find a way to initiate a dialogue with Moscow to preserve peace on our continent. This is a heavy responsibility for the French presidency.”
EDITORIAL By Pierre Rousselin
Translated By Sandrine Ageorges
August 11, 2008
France – Le Figaro – Original Article (French)
The diplomatic phase now opening in regard to the conflict in South Ossetia will be more complicated than the ongoing military operations. Beyond the fate of a separatist province of Georgia – and soon a second, Abkhazia – the entire relationship between Russia and the West hangs in the balance.
Vladimir Putin understands this, since on his return from the Beijing Olympic Games he stopped in Caucasus. This was first of all to encourage Russian troops engaged in battle, but it was mainly to serve as a warning to George W. Bush and the Europeans about the importance Moscow attaches to the events playing out in Georgia.
As the head of Europe [France holds the rotating E.U. presidency], France is in a key position to conduct decisive mediation over the future of East-West relations.
READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, along with continuing translated foreign press coverage of the crisis in the Caucuses as it impinges on our nation. More articles from France, Germany and Romania expected in the next 24 hours.