Oh, dear. This story is going to be huge.
It is emerging that two different issues are at stake: firstly, who fired the shots and were the shots actually fired at President Saakashvili and President Kaczynski? And secondly, it has emerged that the security arrangments travelling with Pres. Kaczynski were woefully inadequate for a trip to what is, basically, still a war zone.
The convoy travelling with the two presidents was between 15 and 30 cars. Journalists, unusually, were placed near the front of the motorcade. Suspicious? The trip - to an area in South Ossetia, which was, unusually, was in control of Georgia before the short war in August but is now in Russian controlled hands - appears to have not been on President Kaczynski’s original itinerary: he was in Georgia to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the so-called Rose Revolution. But, sometime on the way to Georgia, or when he was actually there, he and Saakashvili decided to go and see if Russian troops had in fact withdrawn, as was in the plan the EU cooked up at the end of the shooting.
Well, Kaczynski found - you could say, Kaczynski has demonstrated - that Russia is still in control there.
Russia says the whole thing was cooked up by Saakashvili and Kaczynski to make Moscow look bad. Kaczynski and Saakashvili say that the whole thing was a provocation by Russia.
At a guess, the shots probably were by South Ossetian militia - but to what aim? They say that the convoy asked for permission to enter the area but this was refused. Some of the cars, regardless, started to enter. Maybe that was when the shots - warning shots - were fired?
That said, reports by journalists travelling with the two presidents say that at times security officials were nowhere near the car taking Kaczynski to a zone with a lot of guns in it. Whatever Kaczynski was up to he was being extremely reckless, as he was when he showed up with presidents of the Baltic states and Ukraine on the final day of the August conflict.
The Polish government has been trying to clam things down saying that the whole incident was not as serious as is being painted by the Presidential Palace and they have inferred that this is a very convenient way for president Kaczynski to scupper any re-start of talks between the EU and Russia to forge a wide ranging agreement on many issues - something that the Civic Platform led government supports.
Whatever - Kaczynski’s one man war with the Ruskis continues.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Posted by beatroot at 11/23/2008