Time is now short, but it is not too late to save the OSCE mission in Georgia. Its mandate is set to expire in six weeks, so there is still time to save it if enough member states of the OSCE act resolutely. In the first instance, the mission should at least be allowed to continue working in territory currently controlled by Tbilisi. Moscow can have no reasonable arguments against that. If Georgia is as unstable as Moscow claims, then there are compelling reasons to keep the OSCE there, even in the Russian logic.
A vigorous diplomatic response, led by the EU and the US, should make clear to the Kremlin that its refusal to allow the OSCE to continue its valuable work in Georgia further damages Russia's credibility as an international partner. Moscow will then need to demonstrate whether it is seeking regional stability or simply engaging in geopolitical posturing.
Lawrence Sheets is Caucasus Project Director of the International Crisis Group.