Friday, June 19, 2009

The long history of "bullying"

Interesting editorial in the New York Times today, regarding Russia's "bullying" in the Caucuses as if this were a new phenomenon. The NYT terms the Kremlin's approach "petty" but really it's the same approach that has been followed by Russia for centuries. The Treaty of Georgievsk, which made Kartli-Kakheti a protectorate of Russia, was signed in 1783, for example. (We'll disregard for the moment that Russia soon failed to fulfill the terms of the agreement, which called for the Russians to defend the Georgians.) In Azerbaijan, of course, the Russian involvement was formalized by the Treaty of Gulistan, in which Persia ceded much of Azerbaijan, Eastern Georgia, and Dagestan to the Russian Empire.

So, while the New York Times certainly can call the Russia's approach "bullying," any other approach would be quite remarkable.