Saturday, 8 August 2009

Divergent views on Georgia

Carl Thomson keeps an excellent blog called 'Moscow Tory' where he offers in depth analysis of events in the former Soviet Union. Conservative Home today carries his article marking the first anniversary of the South Ossetia conflict.

"The strong support Britain gave Saakashvili during the crisis could be understood if Georgia was a young democracy bravely fighting off the imperial ambitions of her larger neighbour, but we have seen that this is not the case. It could be explained if his remaining in power were vital to our national interest, as we will always need to have working relations with countries whose record on human rights and democracy we find distasteful. But we have no strategic interest in Georgia that trumps our relationship with Russia, however strained the latter may be."

It is penetrating commentary, animated by a realist appraisal of Britain's foreign policy towards Georgia, which is in tune with the approach William Hague promised in a recent keynote speech. Sadly the message is not as compatible with Shadow Defence Minister, Liam Fox's, piece on ConHome, which appeared yesterday.

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