Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia/georgia : Eu Will Have to React

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/russia/georgia : Eu Will Have to React

Article excerpt

Despite warnings from the EU and the US, which have supportedaGeorgia's territorial integrity, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev signed, on 26 August, "decrees on the recognition by the Russian Federation of South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's independence".

The move was immediately condemned by many EU member states, including Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Estonia. The current EU President France has launched intensive consultations with member states to adopt a common declaration condemning the move, said French diplomatic sources. Paris earlier stated that Russia's recognition of the Georgian provinces was a 'regrettable decision'. Moscow's decision was also instantly condemned by the US, Japan and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Russia's move breaches international law and will not be accepted by EU leaders, who are meeting on 1 September to discuss the EU's future relations with Moscow. "This contradicts the basic principles of territorial integrity and is therefore absolutely unacceptable,' said Merkel in a speech in Tallinn, stressing that "Georgia must be supported". Italy, which, like Germany, had earlier taken a relatively cautious position towards Moscow, slammed Medvedev for his decision and argued that this move carries no legal weight internationally.

Justifying his decision, Medvedev accused Georgia of "breaking UN regulations and its obligations to the international community" by initiating "a military conflict which claimed many civilians' lives". …

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