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    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Nato divided on American call to punish Moscow

    From The Times
    August 16, 2008

    Nato divided on American call to punish Moscow

    Charles Bremner in Moscow

    Russia’s military walkover in Georgia has deepened Nato divisions as it prepares to find a new way next week of handling the resurgent former superpower.

    Washington has called a meeting on Tuesday of Nato foreign ministers, essentially to punish Moscow for what the United States, Britain and, especially, East European countries see as a brutal invasion that reverted to Cold War methods.

    Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, said: “There need to be consequences for Moscow’s behaviour.
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    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    Russian Troops in No Rush to Withdraw From Georgia (Update1)

    Russian Troops in No Rush to Withdraw From Georgia (Update1)

    By Lucian Kim and Yuriy Humber

    Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Hours after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a European Union-brokered peace plan to end a week-long war with Georgia, his troops were dug in around the town of Gori, signaling they're in no rush to retreat.

    Gori, near the breakaway South Ossetia region that sparked the conflict, is the transport hub that connects Georgia's east and west. Russian troops withdrew their checkpoints this afternoon to positions about half a kilometer (0.3 miles) behind the town of Kaspi, located between Gori and the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. A reporter for Bloomberg News was among a group of journalists traveling with the Russian military at the government's invitation.

    Kaspi is one of three Georgian towns that Russians moved into after the ceasefire, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili told reporters yesterday. Russia's army needs to keep watch for snipers and renegade units as skirmishes continue, Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, said in an interview today. U.S. President George W. Bush said Moscow must ``honor the agreement and withdraw its forces'' from Georgian territory.

    U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who visited Georgia yesterday, said that if the Russians haven't begun to pull back, they ``are perhaps already not honoring their word.''

    Cities and the countryside north of Tbilisi bear signs of the armed conflict between the two former Soviet Republics. In the villages and towns around Gori shops are shuttered and streets are deserted, while hay fields in the Georgian countryside were still burning this afternoon. Russian tanks and armored cars control strategic points along the road to the Georgian capital.

    Buffer Zone

    Russia wants to keep a buffer zone inside Georgia to protect the territories, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said in an interview. Withdrawal from Georgia will take ``as long as necessary,'' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Sochi today. Medvedev gave no timetable for a troop withdrawal after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel condemned Russia's offensive as ``disproportionate.''

    As tank commanders looked on, trucks bearing the logo of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, left Gori. The United Nations estimates the number of people displaced by the conflict is approaching 115,000, according to a statement yesterday. Two days ago, the UN children's fund, Unicef, put the number of refugees at about 100,000.

    Civilian Aid

    With military action declared over, armies on both the Russian and Georgia sides have become more involved with civilian aid. Russia sent in nine convoys and ran 70 airplane lifts into South Ossetia to distribute food and medical supplies, Russian Deputy Emergency Minister Ruslan Tsalikov said in Moscow today. Columns of military trucks and armored vehicles were heading toward Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, from the Russian border this evening.

    Switzerland became the latest country to pledge assistance, Tsalikov said, supporting aid by Kazakhstan and Belarus. Negotiations with the Red Cross about installing a mobile hospital and aid relief for refugees are continuing, he said.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Lucian Kim on the South Ossetian-Russian border via the Moscow newsroom at lkim3@bloomberg.net; Yuriy Humber in Moscow yhumber@bloomberg.net.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... refer=home
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    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
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    How about they had every right and legal defense to do so?
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