Russia: 'Horror' if Georgia joins NATO

AP
An attempt by NATO to incorporate the former Soviet republic of Georgia could trigger a new, "horrible" conflict, Russia's prime minister said yesterday.
AP

An attempt by NATO to incorporate the former Soviet republic of Georgia could trigger a new, “horrible” conflict, Russia’s prime minister said yesterday in a stern warning to the West marking 10 years since the Russia-Georgia war.

Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the Kommersant daily broadcast by Russian state television that NATO’s plans to eventually offer membership to Georgia are “absolutely irresponsible” and a “threat to peace.”

Medvedev was Russia’s president during the August 2008 war, which erupted when Georgian troops tried unsuccessfully to regain control over the Moscow-backed breakaway province of South Ossetia and Russia sent troops that routed the Georgian military in five days of fighting.

The Russian army was poised to advance on the Georgian capital, but Medvedev rolled it back, accepting a truce mediated by the European Union.

After the war, Georgia entirely lost control of both South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia. Russia has strengthened its military presence in both regions and recognized them as independent states, but only a few countries have followed suit.

The EU yesterday reiterated its “firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders” and lamented the Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russian-Georgian relations have improved since the war, but the issue of the breakaway regions remains.

Special Reports
Top