Viewpoint: “What's behind Russia's actions in Georgia?”

Two of Georgian regions, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) are currently occupied by Russia., Aug 10, 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia

"Political change with economic growth in countries like Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova [which are moving to closer partnership with the European Union] is seen as a threat to the Russian regime, since success in these countries may motivate the Russian population to question their own governance model.”

The UK’s leading media outlet, the BBC, published an opinion piece by George Mchedlishvili - an academy associate in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at the independent think tank Chatham House - where the author explained what he thought was behind Russia's ongoing provocative actions in Georgia.

Mchedlishvili believed Georgia's only option to counter Russia was international assistance.

"But Western reaction has been limited to expressions of concern,” he said.

The author believed with Armenia, "already firmly within the Russian orbit” through its Eurasian Economic Union membership and with Azerbaijan "reheating its relations with Moscow”, Georgia remained the West's last "serious toehold” in the South Caucasus.

"Georgia's loss, therefore, would in essence signify the transfer of the whole region, with its substantial energy transit potential and geopolitical significance, to the Russian sphere of influence,” he wrote.

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