Russia intends to prove, by involving in the Ossetia conflict, that Georgia is not a true alternative for the natural gas and oil transit towards Europe, where Russia still holds a monopoly, said the former Georgia Foreign Minister, Salome Zurabishvili. Her opinion is shared by several security experts and journalists.
Asked about the responsibility for the opening of hostilities, for which Georgia and Ossetia blame each other, Zurabishvili noted that the knowingly launching of a conflict from Tbilisi would be "insane" and "without any reasonable explanation".
The idea that the stakes lies in the energy politics is shared by Alexandros Petersen, expert in the International Studies and Security Center in Washington: "This conflict should be a stake for Europeans, since their energy security is involved in this game".
Zurabishvili added that "Russia completely devastated the Poti harbor in the Black Sea, which was critical for the transport of energy resources from the Black Sea, being placed near the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline and the Supsa oil terminal".
The energy blow against Europe is also noted by the British journalist Edward Lucas, in a column for The Times: "But on top of that is a vital Western interest. The biggest threat Russia poses to Europe is the Kremlin's monopoly on energy export routes to the West from the former Soviet Union. The one breach in that is the oil and gas pipeline that leads from energy-rich Azerbaijan to Turkey, across Georgia. If Georgia falls, Europe's hopes of energy independence from Russia fall too", the journalist notes.