'Georgia paying price for NATO's failure'

Georgian ambassador Salome Samadashvili said a stronger response was needed from the EU, which will hold an emergency foreign ministers meeting on Georgia on Wednesday.

'Georgia paying price for NATO's failure'
The European Union needs to make clear to Russia there will be consequences for its ties with the bloc if it continues military action in Georgia, Georgia's EU ambassador said on Monday.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili accused Moscow on Monday of trying to overthrow his government as Russian troops pushed into two separatist regions, but Moscow said it had no intention of invading.

Georgian ambassador Salome Samadashvili said a stronger response was needed from the EU, which will hold an emergency foreign ministers meeting on Georgia on Wednesday.

She also said Georgia was paying the price for NATO's failure to set a date for accession when it announced in April that the country would one day become a member.

"The Russian federation has made its goal to prevent NATO's expansion," she said. Russia has objected strongly to the idea of Georgia becoming a NATO member.

Calling for a stronger EU stand, she told a news briefing in Brussels "There has not been a properly worded public official statement that would tell them (Russians) clearly that they have to stop and they risk their future relationship with the EU if they don't."

"They (the EU) need to ... show that there will be a political cost for the action in terms of the relationship of the Russian federation with its strategic partners," she said.

Samadashvili, who at one point broke down in tears and briefly left the room, said Georgia could not survive on its own.

"We hope the international community will move to some kind of action to protect our statehood," she said. "Either we find a way to respond to it together or we have to also live with the decision that we will face a different world tomorrow."

"... the situation is deteriorating faster than a proper response can be orchestrated ... as we speak the Russians act."

The European Commission called on Russia on Monday to halt all military activity on Georgian territory immediately and NATO accused Moscow of using excessive force.

But the EU executive has stopped short of warning of any effect on ties with Russia, which is a key energy supplier.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has proposed an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of forces to positions held before Aug. 6 with some form of international presence, and respect of Georgian territorial integrity.

Georgian Foreign Minister Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili will meet NATO's policy-making North Atlantic Council on Tuesday.

Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Ağustos 2008, 17:11
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