Friday, August 22, 2008

US Ambassador supports Russia's move

Посол США в России сдвигает границы грузинской агрессии

US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle believes that Russia was absolutely well founded in its decision to respond to Georgian attacks on Russian peacekeepers, which the US had tried to dissuade Georgia from doing "up until the last minute." His point of view contradicts Washington's, which from the very beginning characterized the conflict in South Ossetia as Russian military aggression against Georgia. "We see that the Russian army was well founded in its response to attacks on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia. But now these forces have crossed onto Georgian soil, and the territorial integrity of Georgia is under threat. Now we are encouraging Russia to abide by the agreements of the ceasefire and withdraw its forces from Georgian territory," stated the diplomat in an interview with "Kommersant."

In Beyrle's opinion, there is a role for international peacekeepers in South Ossetia, but that this should occur at a later stage. "Now it is important for Russia to abide by the 6-point peace plan, which was signed by all parties of the conflict. The sooner Russian forces head for their pre-conflict positions, the sooner we can introduce international observers into the conflict zone, and thereby international peacekeepers, and then we can begin to settle the conflicts," added Beyrle.

The diplomat believes that the process of resolving the conflicts between Georgia and South Ossetia and Abkhazia "should begin with the recognition of the territorial integrity of Georgia within the limits of its international borders." At the same time, he added, "the principle of self-determination of nations should also be considered."

However, Beyrle believes that the conflicts in Georgia cannot be resolved according to the principles of Kosovo. "Our position is that Kosovo was a special case which cannot serve as a precedent," he emphasized. Concerning the December NATO summit where Georgia's request to recieve Membership Action Plan (MAP) status will be considered, the ambassador noted that the decision will rely heavily on how Russia respects its promises and how soon it withdraws its armies. "Georgia's performance will also play a role."

Beyrle is confident that the conflict in Georgia will not seriously affect economic ties between Russia and the US and will not harm Russia's prospects of joining the WTO.

According to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, all Russian military units, making way for an international peacekeeping contingent, will begin to withdraw from Georgian territory to South Ossetia on August 22 at 6 am.

IA Regnum

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