When the Sarkozy Agreement was brokered after the brief war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 it was expected that Russia would adhere to its terms. Six years on Georgians are still waiting for Russia to return back to the “boundaries” of August 7, 2008. Russia continues to occupy Georgian territory, and on May 7 they announced that they intended to double the military equipment on its military bases in Abkhazia.
Once again we have seen Russia repeat this ‘successful’ strategy. Using much the same argument [protection of its citizens and/or Russian speakers], Russia proceeded to annex Crimea and continues to destabilize Eastern Ukraine. The agreement reached in Geneva in April between the US, Russia, Ukraine and the EU which outlined the disarming of all illegal groups and vacating all the government buildings and public spaces they had occupied was to no avail. It was yet another instance in which Russia failed to live up to their side of an agreement.
Where does Russia stop? Who’s next? Moldova is the obvious answer with EU Association Agreement looming in its future and its own problematic region Transnistria. The Baltics are also not off limits with their own Russian minority populations.
As Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said this week in an interview with the Daily Beast, “If they [Ukraine] survive this crisis there will be a future for all the countries in the region that border Russia. If they lose, it means that NATO loses. And those of us who aspire to be in NATO will be deadlocked under Russian sabotage for years to come.”