Putin Speaks

by Nathan Hamm on 8/19/2004

Like a god waking from a slumber, Putin finally weighed in on South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The separatist conflicts in Georgia resulted from the “foolish” move by Georgia to strip South Ossetia and Abkhazia of their autonomous status during the Soviet collapse, President Vladimir Putin of Russia was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

In rare remarks on the Georgian conflict, Putin also suggested that Russia might favor a solution that would give the separatist regions autonomy.

“Russia is prepared to do what is within its power to contribute to a settlement and the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity, but it does not intend to take upon itself inappropriate function and come out one side or the other,” the Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying.

Thank goodness. Maybe something positive will actually happen on the ground. He may not be the most committed democrat in the world, but the man is a pragmatist. I am hoping that he will get the ball rolling in the right direction, especially with Saakashvili giving a final chance for peace.

See RFE/RL as well. They report that Don Cossacks are operating in South Ossetia–a good as sign as any that Russia, to date, hasn’t been an honest broker.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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