See outline of Georgia Above. Look at European Map directly above. Georgia is located on the far lower right with Armenia on it’s right and the tip of Russia on it’s left, then Moldova. See what an advantageous sea port Porti, Georgia must be. Without Georgia, Russia is landlocked regarding the Black Sea.
The Problem With The Russian Empire is Putin’s Hubris
Russia didn’t always control Georgia, just as the heads of the Russian leaders weren’t always swelled. There was a time before the Tsar annexed Georgia in the eighteenth century that it existed very well, with it’s grape growers on hills and looked somewhat like Southern California grape country. In his book The Future Belongs To Freedom, Eduard Shevardnadze described it as a “beautiful and bounteous land.”
When Russia attacked Georgia they closed off this strategic Georgian port that was to have played an important role in President Mikhail Saakashveli’s plan to revitalize his country. He wanted to transform this Black Sea port so that it could accommodate even bigger payloads of goods from all over the world and improve Georgians’ standard of living and that of it’s neighbors.
A story out of Britain from Telegraph.co.UK by Christopher Hope on August 11, 2008, just three days after Russia invaded Georgia, told how just five months earlier President Saakashvili was touting a $70 million deal “which he hoped would transform the Black Sea port of Poti, creating 20,000 jobs over the next five years.”
Under the deal Arab investors were set to plough $200 million into developing a new port alongside the existing commercial port, trebling Poti’s capacity to 25 million tons of cargo a year.
Now those plans could lie in ruins as the port has been cut off by Russian troops and the 51,000 inhabitants of Poti must put those plans on hold until the country can expel the Russians lingering in the vicinity, even at this date, acting as “peacekeeper inspectors” while Putin’s real purpose is to terrorize the people with their presence.
Russia’s over-running of Senaki, a town 25 miles inland from Poti effectively shut down the country’s biggest commercial port.
The move has been starving the country of more than half of its imports of key products like wheat, grain, tinned food and cars. The U.S. is trying to bring in food, medicine, clothing, and other supplies but are being thwarted by the presence of the Russian soldiers. How long that will last is up to negotiations now underway between Russia and Georgia and the amount of international pressure America can mount.
In a story by by Renee Montagne and Mike Shuster, we learned that some aid ships were Diverted From Port Porti which is guarded by Russians.
Morning Edition, August 27, 2008 reported that the United States will not dock a Coast Guard ship carrying humanitarian aid in the Georgian city of Poti. Russian forces are posted on the outskirts of the port city. A U.S. embassy spokesman says the ship will dock well south of where Russian and Georgian forces clashed this month.
Giorgi Badrdidze, the acting head of mission at the Georgian Embassy in London, said: “Poti is a vital lifeline for Georgia and Tbilisi because it offers a direct connection to western countries.
“This is a major, strategically important economic target. It imports a huge part of the Caucuses’ agricultural products.”
Independent experts said that the blockade of Poti would be felt across the regions as products shipped through the Black Sea port feed neighboring countries Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Georgia is situated between both the borders of Europe and Asia, “at the ancient crossroads of the most important routes of migrations of peoples and civilization, where cultures, faiths, and strategic interests of the powerful of the world intersected and clashed, ensuring Georgia an enviable, glorious, but in many ways torturous fate.”
Georgia chose Christianity as a state religion in the fourth century, destining it to struggle to preserve national identity and its main foundations: language, letters and faith. Shevardnadze said “…Georgia fought against powerful neighbors, whose designs on the strategically important territory were disguised under the banners of an alien faith. Georgia was subjected to forcible assimilation and the destruction of her culture and methods of farming. Her way of the cross is reflected in the first surviving Georgian literature, The Martyrdom of St. Shushanik, a biographical novel of the torments endured for the faith, which cold not destroy the spiritual freedom of the soul.”
It wasn;’t until 1783 that a treaty of alliance was signed between Russia and Georgia. The great power from the north promised to protect the little country (which countries have $140 million versus 7.5 million today). But only 18 years later, 1801, with the manefesto of Emp[eror Alexander I, Georgia was annexed to Russia. The Georgian kingdom was abolished, and bureaucrats from Moscow ran its government. Action provokes counteraction, and the activists for freedom in Georgia joined forces in Russia to oust the tsar and end his kindgom. Many in Georgia saw this as a turning point, the rebirth of nationhood. With the signing of he Brest Peace Treaty, Georgia took advantage of the opportunity to declare it a republic which occurred on May 26, 1918. It ceased to exist three years later, after Red Army detachments marched on Tbilisi.
All of the above once again proves that you can’t trust whoever is in power in Moscow. And today it is Medvedev, instructed by Putin. They are ruthless cowards. They mean no good to the common folk of Georgia or of any other people of their commonwealth. Their eyes are only set on riches, expansion, and glory for themselves–in the name of glory for Russia. Is Putin occupied by a demon spirit? Sometimes he appears to be. For one day he can be George Bush’s good friend, and the next he is stabbing him in the back with his invasion of Georgia. One day he is the man intent on building a nation using the democratic process, the next day he is bent upon taking territory as in the old days, by force–just as he is doing in Georgia today.