Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Some Good News

I spent a good bit of time last year covering the variety of tensions between our Russian friends and the Republic of Georgia (A New 4GW Theater on the Horizon?, Rocking in the Caucasus,
Georgia On My Mind, Chechens in Georgia).

I had also worried that with the U.S. and Europe supporting the official declaration of independence by Kosovo, that Russia might increase pressure on Georgia by supporting a more aggressive posture in Abkhazia and North Ossetia. Instead, it looks like relations are beginning to thaw just a bit.

Russia Restoring Air Link With Georgia
By Vladmimir Isachenkov

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow agreed Tuesday to restore air travel between Russia and Georgia, more than 17 months after imposing a sweeping transport blockade amid tensions between the ex-Soviet neighbors.

Russia's Transport Ministry said in a statement that it would restore the air link starting March 25, after Georgia agreed to pay a debt for navigation services provided to its planes over Russia.

There was no immediate comment from Georgian officials.

Russia suspended the air link with Georgia in October 2006, severed postal connections, and launched a massive crackdown on Georgian migrants after Georgia briefly detained four Russian military officers it accused of spying.

These kinds of small steps in the right direction can add up over time. Good luck to Georgia in her ongoing, delicate dance with the Bear.

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