- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
EDITORIAL: Russia rules
This is the lesson the Russian government has derived from its August military action against Georgia. President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have made it clear that neighboring states will remain in Russia’s sphere of influence rather than that of the West.
Russia recently recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations and intends to keep 7,600 troops in the region. Georgia is fractured, yet the international community is by and large appeasing the Russian bear. Moscow vehemently objected to the American-backed plan for Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO - and it appears the Russian government won the showdown.
Last week, during a visit to St. Petersburg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel unilaterally stated that Georgia and Ukraine will not be given a road map to NATO membership later this year. At the Bucharest summit in April, both France and Germany thwarted the bid of the two former Soviet republics to enter NATO but agreed to revisit the issue in December. Yet Mrs. Merkel, without consulting other NATO members, is blocking the expansion of the alliance. During her visit, she also signed another bilateral gas deal with Russia, rendering Germany even more economically dependent on Russian energy. The German government has thereby undermined NATO, proceeded contrary to American wishes, ignored the concerns of Georgia and Ukraine and rewarded an aggressor.
Russia’s neighbors have also learned a lesson: Western goodwill is empty.
In April, Mr. Putin told President Bush that Ukraine is not a real state - sparking fears that Russia may next attempt to seize Ukrainian territory; Mr. Putin warned that Moscow may consider incorporating the eastern part of Ukraine and the Crimea into Russia proper. Moscow has long sought to undermine Ukraine’s pro-Western coalition government led by President Viktor Yushchenko. Shortly after the invasion of Georgia, Mr. Yushchenko’s coalition crumbled; a third parliamentary election within three years will be held in December. Ukraine too is now trying a little appeasement. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (who takes a softer position on Russia) recently signed a natural-gas deal with Moscow and also said she supports Russia’s ascension to the World Trade Organization.
Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev have demonstrated that the West is powerless to protect Russia’s neighbors. Mrs. Merkel stated that the plan to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO provoked Russian aggression in August. Instead, the German leader should ponder whether the provocation emanated from her decision in April to kowtow to Russian demands - behavior which emboldened Moscow to act against Georgia. If Mrs. Merkel’s logic is sound, then, in light of her rejection of the NATO bid, Russian troops should withdraw completely from South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Yet it is more likely that recent Western weakness will serve to only further whet Russia’s appetite for dominating its neighbors.
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Judge voids N. Dakota's 'heartbeat' abortion law
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.