Back-door US-Russian contacts to de-escalate war of words – after Moscow threatens to nuke Poland

debkafile reports that both powers have begun acting to cool the rhetoric and review relations, after spokesmen in Washington – and especially Moscow – raised the threat level of their oratory to its highest pitch since the Cold War’s end.
The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly, out Friday, will elaborate on this effort.
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Friday night, Aug. 15, Russia’s deputy chief of staff Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn warned Poland it was “exposing itself to a strike 100 percent.”
He said any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack. At the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian president Dimitry Medvedev dismissed the claim that the US missile interceptors in Poland were a deterrent against rogue states like Iran as “a fairy tale,” insisting they were aimed against Russia. President George W. Bush said “The Cold War is over… Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”
He said Russia’s invasion of Georgia had damaged its credibility and the US stands with the people of Georgia and called for the withdrawal of “invading forces from all Georgian territory.”
debkafile‘s political sources report that, as in most cases when international tensions and violence reach dangerous levels, the big powers have instituted secret diplomacy to cool the situation before it gets out of hand in order to formulate new modes of conduct and relations.
This process began with Rice’s visit to France and Tbilsi.
In five hours of arm-twisting, she persuaded Saakashvili to accept clarifications to the ceasefire accord which contradict Washington’s spirited assurances for Georgia’s “territorial integrity.”
Russian troops allowed to remain in Georgia would be “very limited to a light patrolling ability, such as a few kilometers outside of South Ossetia.”
Furthermore, “Russian peacekeepers” would be allowed to “implement additional security measures” until international security can be put in place.
This clause authorizes on behalf of the US and Europe the narrow security strips, which debkafile‘s military sources revealed two days ago the Russians are establishing 300-500 meters deep outside the South Ossetian and Abkhazian borders with Georgia.
This American concession was designed as initial impetus for quiet diplomacy with Russia on a settlement in Georgia.
The other concession, which will unfold in time, is the removal of the Georgian president, another of Moscow’s conditions for ending the crisis. While Bush declared the Cold War is over, Saakashvili heaped verbal coals on the standoff with Russia to keep it ablaze.

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