Georgia og Russland: Et vanskelig naboskap
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The bilateral relationship between Russia and Georgia has been particularly difficult after the end of the Cold War. It is also a relationship that affects the policies of powers like the United States and European Union in the South Caucasus. This study starts with an overview of Georgia’s strategic significance for Russia, the US and the EU. Georgia and Russia’s complex relationship is traced back to the Russian annexation of Georgia in the early 19th century. The evolution of nationalism in Georgia as a response to Russian domination and Soviet policies is one topic. Another topic is the fusion of economy and politics into one corrupt system in the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, that survived into the post-Soviet period with only minor changes. The study discusses the radicalisation of Georgian, Abkhaz and Ossetian nationalists and the wars in Georgia in the early 1990s. Particular attention is given to the evolution of the Russian-Georgian relationship, and Georgia’s domestic development, between 1995 and 2008. For the period after the Rose Revolution in 2003, the main topic is president Mikheil Saakashvili’s emphasis on reintegration of the separatist regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Lastly, the study includes a brief summary of the war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. A brief conclusion outlines the impact of the war on regional security, Georgia-NATO relations and the relationship between Russia and the West.