UARU
War In August: The Georgian Experience
16 August, 2016
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What You Need To Know:

“For those who have been skeptical about what happened in Georgia, it should have been an eye opener;”

In 2008, after months of escalation and violations of all the negotiation formats, Russia got the green light to send its troops into Georgia;

The five-day war between the Russia and Georgia happened during a wisely chosen time, given the fact that many politicians were on holidays;

“As long as the international community’s reaction is weak, as long as it’s a request from both sides to de-escalate the situation, that’s a green light for Russia.”

“For those who have been skeptical about what happened in Georgia, it should have been an eye opener,” says Eka Tkeshelashvili, Georgia’s 2008 Minister of Foreign Affairs. She says that after months of escalation and violations of all the negotiation formats, Russia got the green light to send its troops into Georgia: “Unfortunately, the international community was not ready at the time to comprehend that Russia was ready to attack its neighboring country.”

In August 2008, during the Beijing Summer Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Georgia. The five-day war between the two countries happened during a wisely chosen time, says Tkeshelashvili, given the fact that many politicians were on holidays and the U.S. was caught up in its own political process with elections.

“If Russia tests anybody, it’s primarily the international community,” she says adding that “as long as the international community’s reaction is weak, as long as it’s a request from both sides to de-escalate the situation, that’s a green light for Russia.”

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke to Eka Tkeshelashvili, Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008), via Skype on August 13th, 2016 in Kyiv.