Medvedev not afraid of Cold War after approving Georgian regions’ independence
The move sparked a sharp exchange between Washington and Moscow. President George W. Bush said it exacerbates tensions and complicates negotiations. The Russian president warned of “military responses” to the US missile shield in Europe.
Signing the decrees confirming South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence, Russian president Dimitry Medvedev said Tuesday, Aug. 26, Russia is prepared to go to any lengths to defend the enclaves. “We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a Cold War,” he said, after conferring with prime minister Vladimir Putin. “Of course we don’t need that. Everything depends on the stance of our partners and the world community and our partners in the West.”
Recognition of the two region’s independence was unanimously urged Monday by the Russian upper house.
debkafile‘s Moscow sources report that the Kremlin is planning further sanctions against Georgia and its US-NATO backers, possibly in Eastern Europe.
The US state department has said recognition of the two provinces’ independence would be “a violation of Georgian territorial integrity” and “inconsistent with international law”. UK foreign secretary David Miliband called for the “widest possible” international coalition against Russian aggression in Georgia.
Russia has cancelled a visit by NATO’s secretary general, after Medvedev said he was weighing halting cooperation with the military alliance, “until relations were clarified.” Its NATO ambassador said a “new understanding” needed to be reached between Russia and the alliance.