Friday, 12 September 2008

Russia threatens retaliation over Georgia

The Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has explained in an interview with Le Monde what Russia will do if Georgia is now fast-tracked into NATO. “We will terminate all contact with NATO because we cannot cooperate with an organisation which supports an aggressor against us. If NATO makes another mistake in its relations with the East, we will be unable to continue our relations. Our people will not understand. For us, it is a “red line”. Rogozin said that NATO had multiplied its hostile acts towards Russia and that the accession of the Baltic States had only strengthened the alliance’s anti-Russian attitude. Asked if the crisis would strengthen the resolve of NATO to admit Georgia, Rogozin said that such a decision would mean that the Europeans were supporting “a war criminal” – Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President – who was “a puppet of the United States”. “Saakashvili tried to smash the barrier preventing his country’s accesion to NATO by trying physically to eliminate the inhabitants of South Ossetia and Abkazia.” Rogozin confirmed that Russian troops would soon leave Georgian territory but that they would stay in South Ossetia and Abkazia if asked to by their respective governments. Asked if cooperation with NATO could re-start, Rogozin replied, “If the Americans send their fleet into the Black Sea, if they rearm Saakashvili, if they continue to call the aggressor a victim and the victim an aggressor, then what cooperation can one talk about?” [Interview in Le Monde, 7 November 2008]

-- From The European Journal. Sign up for FREE to John Laughland's 'Intelligence Digest' to find out what’s really happening in Europe --

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