American intelligence displeased with the provocative activities of Russia
Publication time: 13 February 2009, 14:09
The Caucasus is still a seat of tension, the new director of US National Intelligence Dennis Blair said during Special Senate Intelligence Committee hearings at the Capitol.
The unclassified version of report of American Intelligence Community with calculations of threats to the national security was presented at the meeting.
As Blair noted, "six months after the military conflict between Russia and Georgia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the regions are still hot spots".
"The risk of provocation, overreaction, or miscalculation leading to a resumption of fighting" remains in the republics.
The head of National Intelligence believes that "although the political situation in Georgia has stabilized, President Mikheil Saakashvili faces increasing criticism from the opposition. His reaction will either strengthen or break down the democratic process in the country".
The day before President Mikhail Saakashvili, delivering annual address to Parliament, said that Georgia will return Abkhazia and South Ossetia peacefully.
"Empire always loses, and will lose. Abkhazia and Tskhinvali once again would return to its cradle, and we will achieve this peacefully, by developing of economy and democracy, by stability, cooperation with all international community", Saakashvili believes.
Meanwhile, Dennis Blair is displeased with Russia's actions towards the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan.
"To be honest, I am disappointed with the role of Russia in talks over Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. It seems that Russia is not playing a useful role here. Though, Russia says that generally the US operations in Afghanistan and their role in the fight with terrorism meet its interests, as it faces the Sunni extremism it the south of the country," the Intel chief said.
According to him, "there is some sort of ambiguity in Russia's deeds".
"They do not mind prodding us with a stick if they can do so, but they understand that there is a number of issues we can agree to," Dennis Blair said, stressing the necessity to search for joint solutions in spheres where the US and Russia may find consensus.
The Air Base was established in Kyrgyzstan in December 2001 on the mandate of the UN to support the war against Afghanistan.
In 2001, Kyrgyzstan has also concluded agreements on the deployment to its airport "Manas" the troops from the US, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain, France, Australia, South Korea, Italy, Turkey, and Norway.
About 1200 US soldiers, as well as military transport aircrafts and aircraft-refuellers are based now at "Manas" Air Base.
Last week the President of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiyev announced its decision to stop activities of airbase on its territory.