TBILISI/BERLIN | | georgien

TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) - A large-scale military exercise - with German Bundeswehr participation - aimed at Georgia’s integration into NATO operations, will end on Wednesday. This is the "Noble Partner" exercise's fourth itineration since 2015, extending the already bloated war exercises, held by US and NATO troops in Eastern and Southeastern Europe since the escalation of the Ukraine conflict, to the southern Caucasus. Systematic efforts to adapt Georgian armed forces to the western military alliance's standards are thereby being renewed. Impetus for this adaptation was provided following the "Rose Revolution" coup in 2003, the Tbilisi-instigated Russian Georgian war in August 2008, and finally since the intensification of the West's power struggle with Russia in 2014. Whereas Georgia seeks to join NATO, high-ranking Bundeswehr experts are calling for restraint. This step would be a "red line for Russia," a professor at the Bundeswehr University warns; "Nobody in NATO wants to die for Tiflis." more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS | | georgienmoldawien

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - At its summit, starting today, the EU is pushing ahead to integrate non-member countries into its global foreign and military policies. With the Association Agreements due to be signed at the summit, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine will have to gradually adapt themselves to the EU's foreign and military policy. The association aims at enhancing the three countries' participation "in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations as well as relevant exercises and training activities." Ukraine is already contributing soldiers to EU battle groups, while Georgia has contributed 140 soldiers to the EU's Central African Republic intervention force. With its "Framework Participation Agreements" (FPA), the EU, for years, has been engaging numerous non-member countries - including Canada, Chile and South Korea - in its global policy operations. Resembling NATO's "Partnership for Peace," the FPA has not only the objective of attracting additional troops, but also of enhancing global acceptance of EU's operations. However, as an EU think tank openly admits, Brussels requires a certain "degree of subordination," from its cooperation partners. more…

TBILISI/BERLIN | | georgien

TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) - Since their partial Ukrainian success in the power struggle over the ring of countries separating Russia's borders from those of the EU, Berlin and Brussels have been stepping up their efforts to integrate Georgia into their hegemonic system. The EU is calling on Georgia - a country, geostrategists accord great importance not only for Russia's encirclement, but for European access to Asia - to sign the EU Association Agreement in June, ahead of schedule. As in the case of Ukraine, Georgia is already integrated into the German-European military policy. The parliament in Tbilisi has recently voted to contribute Georgian troops to EU military operations in Africa. Georgia's development following the 2003 "Rose Revolution" is very similar to what the Ukrainians find themselves confronted with since the February putsch in Kiev. Simultaneous with military-political integration into Western alliance structures, and the country's accessibility for foreign investors, the population is sinking into impoverishment. Polls indicate that today only 27 percent of the Georgians have a "full-time job" that pays a living wage. more…

TBILISI/BERLIN | | aserbaidschanarmeniengeorgienrussische-foederation

TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) - Eclipsed by the power struggle over the Ukraine, Berlin is pushing to speed up the signing of two other EU Association Agreements. The agreements to permanently associate Georgia and Moldova to the EU should be signed in due form no later than August and should be implemented as soon as possible. The agreement with Georgia is considered particularly important, because it will firmly anchor the EU in the strategically important South Caucasus, thereby weakening Russia's position in a highly sensitive region: Georgia can exert its influence on the hot spots in Russia's North Caucasus and secondly, strategically important gas pipelines transit this region. It is even conceivable that progress being made in the nuclear negotiations will permit an Iranian natural gas supply to Europe through the South Caucasus pipelines. The Berlin/Brussels association offensive is accompanied by a massive derogatory campaign against Russia and President Vladimir Putin, supplementing the German European campaign for the Ukraine's EU association. more…

BERLIN/TBILISI/MOSCOW | | georgien

BERLIN/TBILISI/MOSCOW (Own report) - The German government is intervening in the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia with extensive diplomatic initiatives, and is dispatching a special envoy. Germany feels a "special responsibility," is how the foreign ministry in Berlin paraphrases Germany's claim to qualify as broker in the southern Caucasus. The three southern Caucasian countries, which include Georgia, are among the regions of particular interest for Berlin's foreign policy. They form a pro-western belt of states on Russia's southern borders, providing the West with a direct access to energy resources of the Caspian Basin. The current military conflict threatens not only Germany's position in the region, it also escalates tensions between Russia and the United States, jeopardizing Berlin's efforts to strengthen its own position by its simultaneous cooperation with both Washington and Moscow - in the manner of a seesaw policy. Berlin is in a strong position for eventual negotiations on the future of the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The German government has been trying to contain the secessionist conflicts since the 1990s. more…

TBILISI/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | georgien

TBILISI/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - German/US-American dissention is surfacing in the assessments made of the Georgian presidential elections controversy. Mikhail Saakashvili, a henchman of the United States, was declared victor, of these elections, so obviously fraught with irregularities. The defeated opposition candidate, Levan Gachechiladze, had announced his plan to appoint the former foreign minister Salome Zurabishvili prime minister. Zurabishvili, a French citizen, had been a diplomat of the French foreign ministry until she began her career in Georgia. The power struggle for the presidency is concealing important developments in Georgia, developments that have been supported by both Berlin and Washington since the so-called "rose revolution" in late 2003. Tbilisi is loyally living up to its responsibility as transit country for Western energy supplies originating in Central Asia and furnishing troops for Western occupation armies in Serbia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the past few years, the country's economy had been radically transformed to meet Western standards. While Germany is increasing its supplies to the small, wealthy elite, large segments of the population are sinking deeper into poverty. more…

MUNICH/TEHERAN/MOSCOW | | irangeorgien

MUNICH/TEHERAN/MOSCOW (gfp.com) - Possible sanctions against Iran is the subject of a meeting of approximately 40 foreign and defense ministers, as well, as more than 200 high-ranking politicians from approximately 50 states, that is to take place on the first weekend in February at the Munich Conference on Security. The meeting will begin one day after the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors special session on February 2, at which the German government intends to have the so-called atomic controversy referred to the UN Security Council. Based on German influence in Russia, Berlin is hoping for Moscow's support for getting Teheran integrated into the periphery of the European Union or to get the Kremlin's endorsement for sanctions. Beijing is "not yet" strong enough to resist, according to Berlin. In view of the expected collapse of the oil market, analysts consider the threat of economic sanctions to be a disaster and are predicting the development of serious economic tensions. more…

Greater Europe

BERLIN/ODESSA/PLOCK (Our own report) | | aserbaidschangeorgienkasachstanrussische-foederationukraine

BERLIN/ODESSA/PLOCK (Our own report) The Berlin government's talks with the Ukrainian President have ensured that Caspian oil reserves will flow towards Germany in greater quantities, while also bringing Ukraine closer to joining NATO. The German armaments and military equipment industry is hoping that the upgrading of military hardware in line with Western standards will bring it business valued in billions. Yesterday's talks were in part devoted to improving the capacity of several German oil refineries (Schwedt, Karlsruhe, Ingolstadt), with Kiev accepting the loss of millions in income in return for preferential supplier status - the very decision that Mr Stüdemann, the German ambassador in Kiev, had called for. By way of reciprocation, Germany has promised Ukraine special conditions when it, in due course, becomes subject to the EU. The economic and military agreements are in direct opposition to Moscow, and it is they that actually underlie the recent change of regime in Kiev. more…