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Readers Critical of West's "Double Standards" in Caucasus

Readers shared their views on the roles of the USA, Europe and Russia in the ongoing stalemate regarding Georgia's breakaway regions.

Medvedev recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states

Readers emphasized the growing tension between Russia and the West

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

The conflict in Georgia was not insignificant to the US, who spent a lot of resources in the past five years on building up the Georgian defense forces and infrastructure and by doing so raising the standard of living in that country. With the backing of the US and NATO, the Georgian conflict has become a wedge into the cordial relationship especially with Germany, which will have to pay dearly when Russia could demand even higher gas prizes in the near future. This provocation and the planned missile defense site in Poland is a plain Cold War gesture on part of the US. -- G. Gosau, Canada

Workers stand in front of an oil pipeline from Russia to Germany

Some readers said Russia's position as an oil exporter gave it leverage over the West

The Russians have merely confirmed the status quo in Georgia. It seems to me the Georgian government has been misled into an unsustainable position by cynical people who do not have the interests of Georgia as their primary concern. Hopefully, the Russians will withdraw from areas of Georgia, but if they will not, then an over-committed US will not rescue them. A western European dependence on Russian energy is hardly a position of strength. Confrontation is not the answer because we are not in a position of strength. Since the fall of the USSR we have been arrogant. Let us try to secure what remains of Georgia for the Georgians and not make promises we cannot keep. -- Larry Adlard, UK

The US and western Europe should, by this time, understand what sets off aggressive behavior on the part of Russia. Russia is, and has been after all, extremely sensitive about Western countries getting close to its borders with military systems. We for our part do not seem to be concerned about drawing a line in the sand and daring the Russians to cross it. I was in the US 7th Army during the Cold War and after the years of tension experienced by West and East alike, I don't want the good works of our statesmen to be washed down the tubes by a bunch of hot-headed politicians. We should remember we are trying to push the Russians around within their sphere of influence. Just imagine what would happen if Russia played the same game in Cuba. -- Rudi Rau, US

I am amazed at the West's ridiculous statements. They seem totally blind to their own contradictions and double standards. Clearly the actions by the US and some European nations in the handling of Kosovo have become a gateway to the current events in Georgia. Russia had warned the West repeatedly that recognition of Kosovo is a violation of Serbia's territorial integrity and violation of international law and that such moves would only fuel tensions around the world. We have already seen tensions growing in Tibet, western China, India, Spain, and this in Georgia. Yet the West continues to act as if they were not responsible, and they continue to argue their hypocritical positions in each case. I think this mentality will just push the rising power of China, India, and Russia to center stage so much quicker. The decline of Western Empire and power has officially started. -- Mike, US

The flags of Kosovo and Albania as Kosovo declared independence

Some readers accused the West of double standards after recognizing Kosovo

In the Georgian province of South Ossetia, ethnic Russians demanded their independence. Georgia sent in troops, and Russia responded by sending in troops to protect the Russians from ethnic cleansing. The UN and NATO are calling for Russia to leave, citing a need to preserve Georgia's territorial integrity. There is an inconsistency here. Why is Georgia's territorial integrity important, but Serbia's not? Why was Kosovo granted independence but not South Ossetia? If the UN and NATO are to be credible to the world, they must exhibit consistency in their policies! -- David Bass, US

The failure of the West to "read" Russia's real agenda -- that saddens me! When Kosovo declared independence Russia merely whimpered. Russia's eyes were really focused on Georgia. With the eyes of the world focused on the Beijing Olympics, Russia expertly stepped up its provocations until, unfortunately, Georgia took the bait! The rest is history. Russia is no longer keeping its real agenda secret. -- Irma da Silva, Philippines

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