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Dmitry Medvedev

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has issued a stark warning he will send troops back into Georgia should NATO invite the south Caucasus country to join, but this time he promised the consequences “could be much worse,” according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

At a news conference, Medvedev said having Georgia join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will not reduce global tensions.

NATO is considering just such an invitation – called a Membership Action Plan – for Georgia. It had rejected Georgia’s bid in April, along with a request from Ukraine. The plan is considered an irreversible pathway to NATO membership.

Meantime, in what may be an approach of too-little, too-late, the United States intends to pursue a three-point plan to assist Georgia, short of military action.

The plan is designed, among other things, to “take advantage of some possible opportunities offered by the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Georgia,” according to Matthew Bryza, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

“First, we must support Georgia,” Bryza said. “We seek to address humanitarian concerns, sustain confidence in Georgia’s economy and restore economic growth and preserve the Georgian’ peoples’ democratic right to elect and maintain their leaders.”

Bryza said that the U.S. also wants to prevent Russia from “drawing a line through Europe and declaring that nations on the wrong side of that line belong to Moscow’s ‘sphere of influence’ and therefore cannot join the great institutions of Europe and the transatlantic family.”

However, Bryza’s third objective could be construed as a rejection of that Russian “sphere of influence” by exploring ways “to shore up other countries on Russia’s periphery, and take advantage of some possible opportunities offered by the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Georgia.”

In referring to the issue of spheres of influence, Medvedev days earlier spoke about the introduction of Russian warships in the Caribbean, which is regarded as within the U.S. sphere of influence

“It would be interesting to see how [the U.S.] would feel if we were to send humanitarian aid with our fleet to the Caribbean,” Medvedev said in a direct reference to U.S. warships bringing humanitarian aid into Georgia.

Since then, Russia has announced that its bombers will be landing in Venezuela where President Hugo Chavez just kicked out the U.S. ambassador.

Russia also intends to hold joint naval exercises with Venezuela in the near future.

The consequences of Medvedev’s latest threat to any NATO invitation to Georgia could be construed to mean that Russia could invade Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, to overthrow the U.S.-backed democratic government of Mikheil Saakashvili.

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