Saturday

22nd Jan 2022

Georgia calls for EU help as tensions flare

  • Russian soldiers in Georgia (Photo: mid.ru)

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has called for EU and US help to prevent a renewal of fighting with Russia three days before the one year anniversary of the war.

"The latest [Russian army] manoeuvres are worrying. They refuse to respond to calls from European observers and unfortunately the media in Moscow are announcing a situation of imminent conflict," he told French radio station RTL on Tuesday (4 August).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Despite all that, I am confident that Europe and the United States will send a clear message [to Russia]."

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev later telephoned US leader Barack Obama to wish him happy birthday, with Mr Obama calling for "decreased tensions" the White House said.

The remarks come after Russia put its 7,000 or so troops in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia province on high alert citing Georgian "provocations."

The number of incidents on the South Ossetia boundary line has multiplied in recent days.

On Tuesday, Georgia accused Russia of trying to set up a military checkpoint in the village of Kvechi on the Georgia-controlled side of the line. It also said two grenades were fired towards a Georgian police post.

South Ossetia had on Monday reported that three mortar rounds were fired from a Georgian-controlled village to the hamlet of Ortev on its side of the boundary.

The 7 August 2008 war erupted in a battle between Russian and Georgian forces over the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali, with Russian tanks at one point poised to enter Tbilisi.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy helped negotiate a ceasefire but later gave Russia the EU's blessing to keep thousands of soldiers inside disputed Georgian zones.

The brief war, which cost hundreds of civilian lives, came as a shock to former Soviet countries, raising fears of a new wave of Russian imperialism.

News in Brief

  1. 'No embargo' on meetings with Putin, EU says
  2. Austria to fine unvaccinated people €3,600
  3. MEP: Airlines should start paying for CO2 sooner
  4. Twitter forced to disclose what it does to tackle hate speech
  5. EU watchdog calls for ban on political microtargeting
  6. MEPs adopt position on Digital Service Act
  7. Blinken delivers stark warning to Russia in Berlin
  8. Hungary's Orbán to discuss nuclear project with Putin

Opinion

Why Russia politics threaten European security

Russia could expand hostile operations, such as poisonings, including beyond its borders, if it feels an "existential" threat and there is no European pushback.

Analysis

Ten years on from Tahrir: EU's massive missed opportunity

Investing in the Arab world, in a smart way, is also investing in the European Union's future itself. Let's hope that the disasters of the last decade help to shape the neighbourhood policy of the next 10 years.

Latest News

  1. Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules
  2. MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter
  3. EU orders Poland to pay €70m in fines
  4. Dutch mayors protest strict lockdown measures
  5. Macron promises strong EU borders
  6. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  7. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  8. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us