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Germany plans for Cold Peace with Russia over Georgia

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Germany plans for Cold Peace with Russia over Georgia
No Georgians left in South Ossetia Photo:DPA
12:00 CEST+02:00
The German government has been planning for a new relationship with Russia since at least the end of last year, with one possible scenario dubbed a "Cold Peace" in an internal paper seen by Der Spiegel.

The options paper of foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's planning committee even foresaw recent developments in Georgia, with Russia invading, and then recognizing the two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent.

This was part of the worst-case scenario of potential developments with what was described as an ‘authoritarian-imperialist' Russia.

This would make it impossible to continue the strategic partnership with Moscow, as relations would deteriorate to a "Cold Peace".

The paper outlines fears that Russia might "recognize or even annex Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

Such a scenario would put a "stronger alliance between Georgia and Euro-Atlantic structures on the agenda."

The best-case would be that Moscow move towards a "Russian Davos," integrating the country in the global economy and closing in on European norms.

In such a scenario Georgia's further integration in European structures should be delayed, in order to prevent upsetting the Russian government.

Georgia has broken diplomatic relations with Russia, while Russian forces are still in the country, and the European Union, while condemning Russia's actions, has still not decided on a course of action.

An emergency EU meeting is scheduled for Monday, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for a "clear political signal of unity" from the union which is split over whether to impose sanctions against Russia.

The Russian government plans to set up a number of military bases in Abzkazia and South Ossetia, agreements for which will be signed on Tuesday according to Russian news agency Interfax

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