Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Russia Recognizes Independence of Breakaway Regions

Today Russian President Dmitry Medvedev recognized the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"I have signed decrees on the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Medvedev said in a national television address, standing at a podium flanked by two Russian flags.

"Russia calls on other states to follow its example," he added.

Things to Watch:

  • European reaction: Europe is dependent on Russia for 40-80% of their energy consumption. Will they condemn Russia's continued bellicose behavior? Or turn the blind eye?
  • How will the Arab countries react? Will they follow suit and recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
  • Will other former CIS countries continue to stand behind Georgia? Or slowly stand down?
  • White House/NATO reaction: Will we see increased naval activity in the Black Sea?
  • Cease-fire: Is this the straw that breaks the camels back?

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