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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Aug 29, 2008

newsblast082808.jpgIn a recent commentary penned by Financial Times columnist Philip Stevens, the argument is made that Russia’s ultimate goal is to turn back the clock: to extend his (Putin) country’s borders to create the greater Russia sought by the leaders of the abortive coup against Boris Yeltsin in 1991. The actions documented today further that argument, and may serve as catalysts to the ultimate conglomeration. Annexation coming? Znaur Gassiyev, the Speaker of South Ossetia’s parliament, said the enclave would formally join Russia “in several years” or possibly earlier. This had been “firmly stated by both leaders” during their meeting in Moscow. Tarzan Kokoiti, the deputy Speaker, later predicted: “We will live in one united Russian state.”

Russia’s recognition of Georgia’s breakaway territories may be met by EU sanctions, but some reports indicate that they are already off the hook. So far, it appears that Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is blocking any action from the French to impose actions, remarking that “Someone has to explain to me what a sanction against Russia would consist of.“France has called for an emergency EU summit on Monday to reevaluate relations with Russia after its refusal to pull back all its troops from Georgia in line with the truce agreement. Russia’s foreign minister later referred to the talk of sanctions as an “emotional response that demonstrated Western confusion over the situation.”The plot thickens – Putin believes that during their blatant state capture, military intelligence documented US citizens embedded in the conflict zone. His recent interview on CNN that can be found here.