Indo Pacific strategy

Ananda

The Bunker Group

"Australia, what have you done to me. Sacrebleu, I demand satisfaction".."I demand you buy as much of my cheese on the price of that Sub"..

Seriously though, on looking from commercial side only, Australia should handle this better. I don't know if this being discussed on RAN Thread, but Australia should give French similar chances.

Naval Group already doing significant work design to modified their Baracuda design as SSK. This is due to Australia in begining don't want to used nuclear power. Now Australia doing 180 degree changes, they should give French chances to give counter offer.

Say US and UK offer will be Astute with US reactor and US support for Nuclear infrastructure. Australia should tell French how is your counter. I know there's Political sensitivity domestically in Australia on this, thus why they move on secrecy with US and UK. However they can tell French to deal also in secrecy on this SSN issue, and French will be forfeit from competition if it's leak.

Anyway, this is just my two cents on the matter purely from commercial point of view as a Banker. I put it on this thread, cause the rift between French with US, Australia and possible UK potentialy can be used either by Russia and China for their gain. Especialy if this not handle carefully, and escalate.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro

"Australia, what have you done to me. Sacrebleu, I demand satisfaction".."I demand you buy as much of my cheese on the price of that Sub"..

Seriously though, on looking from commercial side only, Australia should handle this better. I don't know if this being discussed on RAN Thread, but Australia should give French similar chances.

Naval Group already doing significant work design to modified their Baracuda design as SSK. This is due to Australia in begining don't want to used nuclear power. Now Australia doing 180 degree changes, they should give French chances to give counter offer.

Say US and UK offer will be Astute with US reactor and US support for Nuclear infrastructure. Australia should tell French how is your counter. I know there's Political sensitivity domestically in Australia on this, thus why they move on secrecy with US and UK. However they can tell French to deal also in secrecy on this SSN issue, and French will be forfeit from competition if it's leak.

Anyway, this is just my two cents on the matter purely from commercial point of view as a Banker. I put it on this thread, cause the rift between French with US, Australia and possible UK potentialy can be used either by Russia and China for their gain. Especialy if this not handle carefully, and escalate.
It is being discussed in depth on the RAN and ADF threads. Long story short a major part of the problem was that Naval Group were not meeting the requirements of the contract and they had been dragging the chain quite a bit. They were given a timeline to adhere to which they repeatedly failed to do and were being uncooperative with the buyer. The Australians had warned them and no action was forthcoming so they pulled the plug. The nuclear plan was set in place two to three months ago and Naval Group were given a last chance. They didn't deliver so the Commonwealth of Australia tore up the contract. The French government can rant and rave as much as they like but the blame for the contract loss can be firmly sheeted home to Naval Group.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
They were given a timeline to adhere to which they repeatedly failed to do and were being uncooperative with the buyer. The Australians had warned them and no action was forthcoming so they pulled the plug. The nuclear plan was set in place two to three months ago and Naval Group were given a last chance.
@ngatimozart yes, I also read the discussion on that in RAN and ADF thread. Australia have good reasons to dump Naval Group. However my post talking more on the 'ethics' on terminating commercial contract. Before moving to US and UK deal, Australia should either at least officialy dump Naval Group or tell them we are changing the specs that we want, and provide Naval Group chances to counter offer.

If Australia decided does not want to include Naval Group on SSN project (due to lost trust from Australia on Naval Group), at least terminate the contract offcialy first. Then move to SSN project with US and UK. It's Australia right to do that, but if done more ellegantly (by terminating the project first or provide changes in specs to Naval Group), it potentially reduce diplomatic problem.

I'm not arguing Australian decision, but more on the way and ethics on terminataning commercial contract. I believe in RAN and ADF forums already discuss significant penalty that can be occured by terminating contract and compensation to Naval Group. I just believe there're more appropriate way to terminate the contract with Naval Group and reduce diplomatic noises with Paris.

It's just the matter doing better business communication with Naval Group in breaking the contract/project continuation.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
@Musashi_kenshin WRT the US stopping the PRC getting into the CPTPP it cannot because it's not a member and hasn't submitted an application to join yet.
I mean indirectly via putting pressure on Mexico and Canada, hence reference to the Trump agreement and the "poison pill clause".

WRT to Russia being involved, I have given that more thought and believe that Putin would take the opportunity to settle some scores and advance his dream to being Tsar Vladimir, Emporer of All the Russias. That would mean the old Russian empire as it stood in 1914, plus whatever else he could lay his hands on.
That sounds an awful lot like invading the Baltics and starting World War III. Not sure what Putin has to gain from that. He's already fixed the election system so he can't lose, and public opinion of him is in a poor state such that I doubt him joining China in attacking the world would go down well with the public.

The US would be busy but Europe would still be in a position to respond.

I don't think China wants World War III, if anything it wants the opposite, a localised conflict where it can predict the outcome via quick wins. A global war would have a completely unpredictable outcome.
 

koxinga

Well-Known Member
IMO, there are two distinct issues in this situation that are muddled.

The first issue has to do obviously with the submarine contract. Australia, as the customer, has every right to terminate the contract if it feels that Naval Group is not living up to their end of the deal and , the commercial process, penalties and so on will kick-in. What the French are unhappy about is the manner which the intention to walk away was communicated (e.g they learned of this through the news). For such a high profile deal that has political level endorsements, even if the breakup has to take place (e.g I am putting aside the possibility of a counter-off or a reworked deal), it would have been held behind closed doors so that French and Australian stakeholders can be briefed and media statements being prepared. That was never done. The Morrison government didn't even bother to give a call to Macron to say "Mate, we tried but this isn't working out and we are going to walk" ahead of the announcement. That's a head scratcher because it is basic statecraft.

The second issue has to do with the parallel announcement of AUKUS. The formation of this alliance was done without the Europeans (not just the French) being offered a seat at the table, or even consulted. With the backdrop of the unilateral decision to withdraw from Afghanistan from 2020 and the mess of the final days, it made the Europeans felt like second class citizens on the political stage. For the French, they will perceive this in the lens of an anglophone led strategy to exclude and curtail European influence. I won't debate how true that is, but this is probably how they see it.

That said, from an American perspective, it is a game changer for their Indo Pacific strategy. From an military standpoint, the positioning of nuclear submarines to the south of China represents a unique challenge for the PLA and and on geopolitical front, sends a unmistaken signal to Beijing that its GAME-ON. Again, on a geopolitical dimension, it is a short term failure for the Chinese because it shows the limits of how far they can push certain countries and the consequence of pushing it too far. Small countries like Cambodia and Philippines might be susceptible to their influence but try to push countries like Singapore and Indonesia...
 

Julian 82

Member
IMO, there are two distinct issues in this situation that are muddled.

The first issue has to do obviously with the submarine contract. Australia, as the customer, has every right to terminate the contract if it feels that Naval Group is not living up to their end of the deal and , the commercial process, penalties and so on will kick-in. What the French are unhappy about is the manner which the intention to walk away was communicated (e.g they learned of this through the news). For such a high profile deal that has political level endorsements, even if the breakup has to take place (e.g I am putting aside the possibility of a counter-off or a reworked deal), it would have been held behind closed doors so that French and Australian stakeholders can be briefed and media statements being prepared. That was never done. The Morrison government didn't even bother to give a call to Macron to say "Mate, we tried but this isn't working out and we are going to walk" ahead of the announcement. That's a head scratcher because it is basic statecraft.

The second issue has to do with the parallel announcement of AUKUS. The formation of this alliance was done without the Europeans (not just the French) being offered a seat at the table, or even consulted. With the backdrop of the unilateral decision to withdraw from Afghanistan from 2020 and the mess of the final days, it made the Europeans felt like second class citizens on the political stage. For the French, they will perceive this in the lens of an anglophone led strategy to exclude and curtail European influence. I won't debate how true that is, but this is probably how they see it.

That said, from an American perspective, it is a game changer for their Indo Pacific strategy. From an military standpoint, the positioning of nuclear submarines to the south of China represents a unique challenge for the PLA and and on geopolitical front, sends a unmistaken signal to Beijing that its GAME-ON. Again, on a geopolitical dimension, it is a short term failure for the Chinese because it shows the limits of how far they can push certain countries and the consequence of pushing it too far. Small countries like Cambodia and Philippines might be susceptible to their influence but try to push countries like Singapore and Indonesia...
Morrison tried to call Macron before the announcement to brief him but the French President was too “busy” to take his call. The French knew the contract was going to be terminated (an ultimatum was given in June). The confected outrage is for domestic consumption, given there is an election in France.
 

koxinga

Well-Known Member
I do not presume to know what happened behind the scenes. But having being in the hot seat for various projects, both customer and supplier usually have their versions of the story.

The fact of the matter is the decision has been made and all three countries will have to decide how far they want to take this publicly. Personally, I think this will blow over in a few months.
 

hauritz

Well-Known Member
Depends on whether or not they can gather support from their EU partners. Having said that I doubt any of the other EU partners would be interested in becoming involved in this.

Truth is they should probably be a little more introspective and ask themselves why their defence industries seem to have developed such a bad reputation over the years. In fact given their reputation for bribery and other underhanded practices maybe Australia should conduct some sort of inquiry into how we selected the French design in the first place.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I mean indirectly via putting pressure on Mexico and Canada, hence reference to the Trump agreement and the "poison pill clause".

That sounds an awful lot like invading the Baltics and starting World War III. Not sure what Putin has to gain from that. He's already fixed the election system so he can't lose, and public opinion of him is in a poor state such that I doubt him joining China in attacking the world would go down well with the public.

The US would be busy but Europe would still be in a position to respond.

I don't think China wants World War III, if anything it wants the opposite, a localised conflict where it can predict the outcome via quick wins. A global war would have a completely unpredictable outcome.
Are you aware of the Russian term maskirovka? It is the principle of subterfuge first established in the Soviet Red Army but which the current Russian armed forces maintain. The chief features of maskirovka are plausible deniability, concealment of forces, disinformation and decoys. Source.

It is something that the Russians are very good at and as events in the Ukraine have shown they do it successfully. Putin and most of Russia regard the three Baltic states as part of Holy Mother Russia, just as the Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus is. Don't underestimate Putin's determination to recover "lost" territories. Remember also that Putin is rearming Russia and upgrading its capabilities.

The Europeans would have a lot of trouble facing down the Russians in an all out war without American help. They admit it themselves and they have to sort their differences out and form a EU force which is properly funded, equipped and sustained. They only have one nuclear power now in France and it is up to it and Germany to get this force up and running. I think that the aim should be for it to replace NATO as the main European defence organisation., with NATO taking an ancillary role.

WRT China do you really know what the CCP wants? You are looking at it through a foreign western lens and not through its lens and worldview. That's a problem many have with analysing the PRC, Russia, Iran etc. They presume that the other has the same worldview, thinks, and acts like they do; whereas in reality it is far from so. The Americans certainly don't "get" that with the Poms and Aussies having a slightly better understanding. The French don't, but like the Americans and Spanish they never have. They have there own version of maskirovka, except they have perfected it over a couple of millennia. They were at it before the ancestors of the founders of Rus had left their Viking homeland to raid the tribes to the east.

I wouldn't underestimate the CCP ability or possible requirement to move to evict the Americans from both the First and Second Island Chains. The first and foremost concern of the CCP is to remain in power at all costs. Everything else is subservient to that. They are facing economic headwinds domestically, some of which are the results of their own ineptitude, and they have to divert the populations dissatisfaction away from the Party towards another direction. Foreign adventures are always a favourite tool and in recent times the CCP has stoked the nationalistic fires of the population. The other point is that in the last eight years it is reverting to a Maoist repressive regime, except this time around it is very well armed, the second largest economy in the world, hi tech, and uses 21st Century surveillance technologies to monitor and control its population.

Whether or not it is a true communist state is subject to debate, with some commentators suggesting that the Xinjiang concentration camps, the Han racial superiority policies, upper echelons cadre wealth, and the levels of corruption, are showing that the CCP has changed to be more of a national socialist party rather than a genuine communist party.

So I would caution making claims that you believe that they won't want to kick off WW3, because we don't know the mindset of the Standing Committee or the Central Military Commission. However we do know what their aims and goals are and they haven't been exactly shy about it either. In this case we have to prepare for the worse and hope for the best.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
OPSSG,

Thank you for the informative post on the challenges faced by Taiwan, together with the references / comparisons to Singapore.

Anyone wanting to help Taiwan would indeed have to fight their way in but the Americans are fairly close already and the PLA would also have to allocate resources in in other parts of the Pacific. Also, unless open hostilities were already declared the Chinese might not target U. S. or ships from other nations which are on their way to Taiwan but are not yet in a state of hostilities with the Chinese.

Personally I feel the possibility of an actual PLA amphibious operation is for from certain and that this highly risky undertaking, even if it succeeds in landing, is fraught with danger for the PLA. Taiwanese forces would still be able to deploy in strength and speed to prevent the PLA from expanding its beachheads.

A more likely scenario I see would be for the PLA to conduct a massive air and blockade of the island in conjunction with a concentrated air, ballistic/cruise missile attack, as well as a EW and cyber one to obtain the needed political and military results, without neccesarily having to invade the island and drawing Uncle Sam in.

On the issue of morale and mass surrenders on the part of Taiwanese forces maybe but if things don't go well for PLA forces on the island, how long will their morale last?

On the subject if armour, what in your opinion is behind the lack of urgency in improvements? Is it because the Taiwanese feel that focus should be on acquiring and improving the ability to prevent a cross Straits crossing or making it as costly as possible, rather than dealing with one in the event it succeeds?
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
It is something that the Russians are very good at and as events in the Ukraine have shown they do it successfully. Putin and most of Russia regard the three Baltic states as part of Holy Mother Russia, just as the Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus is. Don't underestimate Putin's determination to recover "lost" territories.
We can also assume the Chinese are good at "deception" both at a strategic and operational level.

On the Baltics, not only are they ethnicily not Russian as you're aware but apart from being part of the Soviet Union after they were annexed as part of the Non Aggression Pact with Germany, for much of their history they actually had a deeper connection with Germany and Poland. Is it your belief that occupying the Baltic states remains a long term Russian goal? Also, I'm aware of Russian sentiment towards Belarus and the Ukraine [strategic space space plays a major part, coloured by the WW2 experience] but I had no idea any attachment was felt towards Georgia.
 
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STURM

Well-Known Member
The Americans certainly don't "get" that with the Poms and Aussies having a slightly better understanding. The French don't, but like the Americans and Spanish they never have. They have there own
Given that they gave academics/experts/studebts who have trained and worked in America, have more people in relevant positions who are relatively fluent in English., etc, that the Chinese have a much better understanding of the American worldview and what makes them tick, rather than vice versa?

For the Americans it must have been easier in various ways, when it came to dealing and understanding the Soviets then, as well as the Russians now, rather than with the Chinese.

Whether or not it is a true communist state is subject to debate, with some commentators suggesting that the Xinjiang concentration camps, the Han racial superiority policies, upper echelons cadre wealth, and the levels of corruption, are showing that the CCP has changed to be more of a national socialist party rather than a genuine communist party.
In your opinion was the Soviet comnunist party prior to WW2 a "genuine communist party"? The country had the gulags, the Great Terror, collectivisation and the purges, whilst different rules applied to the party/political elite, as it did in almost every communist country..

An interesting discussion on the new 3 nation alliance. Good points raised from different perspectives by speakers in the
U S, China and Australia.

 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@STURM The USSR was the first Marxist state and even though it had the gulags etc., it did practice communism with the collectivisation and state ownership of all assets and means of production, so it was a classical Marxist Leninist state, with a deviation into Stalinism. It was unfortunate for Marxism and communism in general that the Russians got to be the first exponents of it because they had a history of secret police and extra judicial killings under the Tsars.

The PRC was Marxist Maoist state that under Deng Xaiopeng moved its economy from a Marxist Maoist economy to a capitalistic economy. The reforms were economic only and never political. Many in the west believed that the economic reforms will lead to political reforms but that just shows that they don't understand that they need to view and assess the CCP and PRC from a PRC worldview not western centric worldview and frame of reference. Up until recently I believe that the CCP was a Marxist Party but now it has strayed from the path of Marxism becoming to capitalistic in some aspects from a Marxist POV and is exhibiting symptoms of National Socialism.
 

foxdemon

Member
@ngatimozart yes, I also read the discussion on that in RAN and ADF thread. Australia have good reasons to dump Naval Group. However my post talking more on the 'ethics' on terminating commercial contract. Before moving to US and UK deal, Australia should either at least officialy dump Naval Group or tell them we are changing the specs that we want, and provide Naval Group chances to counter offer.

If Australia decided does not want to include Naval Group on SSN project (due to lost trust from Australia on Naval Group), at least terminate the contract offcialy first. Then move to SSN project with US and UK. It's Australia right to do that, but if done more ellegantly (by terminating the project first or provide changes in specs to Naval Group), it potentially reduce diplomatic problem.

I'm not arguing Australian decision, but more on the way and ethics on terminataning commercial contract. I believe in RAN and ADF forums already discuss significant penalty that can be occured by terminating contract and compensation to Naval Group. I just believe there're more appropriate way to terminate the contract with Naval Group and reduce diplomatic noises with Paris.

It's just the matter doing better business communication with Naval Group in breaking the contract/project continuation.

I agree with your sentiments. Australia's political elites seem to lack any concern for consequences. Could this episode be compared to the East Timor intervention and the subsequent abrogation of the 1995 security pack between Jakarta and Canberra? The long term consequences, loss of the Sunrise oil field and constant Fretilin propaganda attacking Australia's reputation, as well as leaving future relations with Indonesia in peril, leave one wondering if the intervention was worth breaking Australian's trust with Indonesia. Will there be negative consequences for Canberra from this insult to Paris?

In regard to Indonesia, do you think that Jokowi's unavailability, which led to the subsequent cancelling of the Australia PM's visit, has anything to do with the SSN proposal? Or is it more about the announcement of the intention to operate significant US military forces from Australia? Or is there some other reason for Jokowi finding regional visits more important than meeting the Australia PM?
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group

you think that Jokowi's unavailability, which led to the subsequent cancelling of the Australia PM's visit, has anything to do with the SSN proposal?
So far as I've posted in RAN thread, concerning SSN, Indonesia only put some Political concern regarding Australian SSN can lead to proliferation of SSN in region (diplomatic word "increase tempo of arms race"). This's standard Political concern considering the situation, and similar concern also already put forward by Malaysia. We know Malaysia traditionally have closer relationship with Australia. Both Indonesian and Malaysian concerned being released by respective MoFA. Thus why I said it's more on standard Political concern.

I also put article on Australia-Indonesia 2+2 summit between respective defense minister and foreign minister, early this month. So far Jokowi administration still maintain closer relationship building with Australia. China factor due play part on this.

Jokowi also visit Australia last year. However during this COVID, he will stay more at home to reduce Political criticism on going abroad. So far that's what I can see on Indonesian reaction to this SSN plus AUKUS matters.

It's more Political concern, and wait on Australian communication in this matter to the neighbors. After all Diplomacy is communication game.
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
We know Malaysia traditionally have closer relationship with Australia.
Malaysia for decades has had close defence ties with Australia, which have remained largely unaffected by whatever past disagreements there have been in the country to country relationship. Malaysia has benefited greatly from this arrangement and it is often overlooked that it plays host to the only permanent base or facility the ADF has abroad. There are no ADF assets permanently based at RAAF Butterworth but there is a permanent ADF presence (albeit a small one) there.

In private I suspect that Malaysian politicians and defence planners welcome the recent announcement because like everyone else in the region they share a major concern over recent Chinese activities.
 

foxdemon

Member



So far as I've posted in RAN thread, concerning SSN, Indonesia only put some Political concern regarding Australian SSN can lead to proliferation of SSN in region (diplomatic word "increase tempo of arms race"). This's standard Political concern considering the situation, and similar concern also already put forward by Malaysia. We know Malaysia traditionally have closer relationship with Australia. Both Indonesian and Malaysian concerned being released by respective MoFA. Thus why I said it's more on standard Political concern.

I also put article on Australia-Indonesia 2+2 summit between respective defense minister and foreign minister, early this month. So far Jokowi administration still maintain closer relationship building with Australia. China factor due play part on this.

Jokowi also visit Australia last year. However during this COVID, he will stay more at home to reduce Political criticism on going abroad. So far that's what I can see on Indonesian reaction to this SSN plus AUKUS matters.

It's more Political concern, and wait on Australian communication in this matter to the neighbors. After all Diplomacy is communication game.

I can see relations between Australia and a number of ASEAN countries ( perhaps not so much Vietnam and the Philippines) becoming strained as Australia reacts to China's military build up. This apprehension is completely reason, mine you. Indonesia, for example, will experience missiles and aircraft whizzing overhead, naval vessels, possibly nuclear powered (can Indonesia cope with a leaking reactor on the sea floor?), entering and being sunk in Indonesian waters, naval mines, lots of naval mines, being laid in choke points through out the archipelago, new robotic weapons systems being deployed though the region, etc. Nobody wants to be caught in the crossfire, right?

Unfortunately, I really can't see what choice there is for Australia. If we don't challenge China, Japan and S Korea will eventually have to bow to Beijing. That will be the end of democracy and modernity in those countries (China's Middle Kingdom philosophy takes us back to the 15th century and thus is pre modern). Without S Korea and Japan being modern democracies, I can't see Australia having much chance of find a place in Asia on terms that we might find acceptable. That is, after all, the core strategic goal of Australia for the last 70 years. This is what motivated Keating, for example. China has, regrettable, created an existential crisis for Australia. We have to do what we are doing.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
WRT China do you really know what the CCP wants? You are looking at it through a foreign western lens and not through its lens and worldview.
Does anyone know for sure what the CCP wants, other than its own survival? That's why I said "I don't think" rather than "I know that" China doesn't want WWIII. But I may have given the impression I was sure in my view, which obviously I can't be.

As for looking at things through a "foreign western lens", I'm not sure we can appropriate all redeemable attitudes and call them western. Even if the CCP may be lacking in compassion, it is possible that it recognises in a universal/non-western way that a global conflict would be so devastating ruling over the ashes would not be worth it.

There's a big difference between saying the CCP is willing to take action that could lead to WWIII and saying it actively wants WWIII.
 
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MickB

Active Member
I do not presume to know what happened behind the scenes. But having being in the hot seat for various projects, both customer and supplier usually have their versions of the story.

The fact of the matter is the decision has been made and all three countries will have to decide how far they want to take this publicly. Personally, I think this will blow over in a few months.
You do not presume to know what happened?
Yet in post #325 you do exactly that.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
We can also assume the Chinese are good at "deception" both at a strategic and operational level.

On the Baltics, not only are they ethnicily not Russian as you're aware but apart from being part of the Soviet Union after they were annexed as part of the Non Aggression Pact with Germany, for much of their history they actually had a deeper connection with Germany and Poland. Is it your belief that occupying the Baltic states remains a long term Russian goal? Also, I'm aware of Russian sentiment towards Belarus and the Ukraine [strategic space space plays a major part, coloured by the WW2 experience] but I had no idea any attachment was felt towards Georgia.
Estonia & Latvia were taken by Russia from Sweden in the 17th century. They had partly been ruled by largely German crusading orders in the Middle Ages, & had relatively small but influential German-speaking minorities dating from that period (& which under Russian rule became part of the Russian ruling system, keeping down the Estonians, Livonians, Letts etc. in cooperation with the Russians), but had never been part of any German state. Lithuania was annexed in the late 18th century, as part of the partition of Poland. It had never been ruled by Germany, Germans, or any German state. It had been associated with Poland since its ruling prince had been bribed to accept Christianity by being given Poland in 1386. Note that Belarus & much of what is now Ukraine were ruled by Lithuania until Poland & Lithuania merged their parliaments in 1569.

Large numbers of Russians were encouraged to move into Estonia & Latvia, or simply sent there, under both the Russian Empire & USSR, to strengthen Russia's hold. They ended up with very large Russian minorities, majorities in parts of both countries (e.g. the capital cities of both republics).

Russia posed as the saviour of Georgia from Islam & a stark choice between Ottoman & Persian domination at the beginnib of the 19th century, & after annexing the country kept Georgian aristocrats & landowners in place.

Since the collapse of the USSR Russia has nibbled away at Georgia, detaching & occupying Abkhazia, effectively detaching S. Ossetia, & expanding its control beyond S. Ossetia's borders in 2008 after defeating a Georgian attempt to reincorporate it. It's also financed & encouraged ethnic Russian organisations in Estonia & Latvia which lay claim to large parts of both countries as Russian.

Russia's pretty consistently behaved as if it does not accept the legitimacy or borders of the Baltic states & Georgia.
 
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