There has been no doubt of Europe's priority in the conflict between Georgia and Russia: Bringing about a ceasefire on both sides and minimizing further bloodshed. Beyond that, nothing in this conflict is simple.
European leaders feel a special responsibility for preventing further escalation and several of them have condemned a "disproportionate" use of force by Russia. The European Commission has called for an end to all Russian military activity on Georgian soil.
But at the same time European diplomats accept that Mikheil Saakashvili initiated military action in seeking to reassert Georgian control of its breakaway province of South Ossetia, perhaps hoping that he could consolidate power there while the world was preoccupied with the Olympics. Read full article »