'Warsaw Pact' vs. Moscow
Nine former member countries of the dissolved Warsaw Pact in the post-war era has prepared for a new formation.
The first step has been taken in Ukraine, which is currently celebrating the first anniversary of the "orange revolution".
Some Baltic, Balkan and Black Sea countries gathered together under the leadership of Ukraine and Georgia, which moved away from the Russian axis after the velvet revolutions, and laid the foundations for "the society of democratic choices" in Ukraine's capital, Kiev.
Members of the new formation that Moscow observes with concern and terms as "a friendship that is not friendly," defined their basic principles as follows: to achieve democracy, stability and progress in the area that covers the Baltic Sea, the Balkans, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and to integrate this area with the European-Atlantic world. "There will actually be a formation of an axis for countries that do not want to come into the orbit of Russia," said Georgiy Arveladze, Chief Executive of Georgian Presidency.
Presidents of Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, Latvia, and Moldova attended the international forum held in Kiev. In addition to senior officers from Poland, the capital of which was used to name the Warsaw Pact, representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Council also attended this forum.
In addition to the Baltic countries pressuring Russia on the grounds that the Soviet Socialist Republic Union (SSCB) occupied the lands of these countries after World War II, the Balkan countries that have entered into warm relations with the West also prefer to avoid Moscow.
Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev is claimed not to be able to participate in the formation in Kiev after the atmosphere the elections in his country has brought. Georgian Leader Mikhail Saakashvili and his Ukrainian counterpart, Victor Yuschenko, who came to power after the West-supported revolutions in their countries, had come together a couple of time before to establish a construction including Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas. The decision to establish the Community of Democratic Choice, which had been offered with initiatives of Tbilisi and Kiev on 12 August 2005, was also supported by Romania and Latvia.
Ukrainian Communists described yesterday's forum as alienating Russia from Europe with US's pressure. Romania President Trayan Popescu, who participated in the forum in Kiev, said in order to solve the Dinieper problem in Moldova the foreign soldiers in the region should be pulled out. Russia has troops in the Dinieper region due to the local problem there.
It is observed the leaders of the Community of Democratic Choice were patient in not using harsh political expressions during the first meeting. Yushchenko talked during the opening of the meeting and stated the new formation they established is not against third countries. The observers, however, emphasize the conflict in the interests of Baltic, Balkan, Black Sea, Caspian Region countries and Russia will crystallize the lines and some frictions will be unavoidable. The new formation is accepted as the biggest rival of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was established in place of the USSR.