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Bush Blasts Russia For Ceasefire Violations

From CNN, via YouTube:

Bush accuses Russia over Georgia cease-fire

August 13, 2008

TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) — President Bush said Wednesday that the United States has received reports of Russian actions that are “inconsistent” with Moscow’s statement it had halted military operations in Georgia.

His remarks came amid fears a Russian convoy advance into Georgia, and claims of violations on both sides, has left in tatters a one-day-old agreement by both sides to return to pre-hostility positions.

“The United States and the world expect Russia to honor that commitment,” Bush said, adding that he was concerned over reports of Russian unit movements near the conflict-hit Georgian city of Gori.

Bush said he was sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to France and Georgia to discuss the violence over disputed provinces with Georgia’s borders.

President Bush also said U.S. Defense Robert Gates will oversee a “vigorous and ongoing” humanitarian mission to Georgia involving aircraft and Naval forces. It was not immediately clear when the mission will begin.

Russia insists its movement of troops along the road to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi is not an act of aggression, and has rejected accusations it is not respecting the cease-fire.

A spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry bristled at reports that Russia had breached the cease-fire, and said they “are not reflecting the real situation.”

“We as the Russian Federation are (sticking) to the agreement which (has) been made in Moscow yesterday and we hope that the other side will show its readiness to do the same,” Andrei Nesterenko told CNN.

Russia says its convoy was merely on a short-range demilitarizing mission on the road to the Georgian capital Tbilisi, but both sides in the conflict have traded accusations that the cease-fire was being violated…

Saakashvili told CNN Wednesday that Russian forces “are encroaching upon the capital” in violation of a cease-fire agreement. He said the Russians never intended to hold up their end of the truce agreed to Tuesday.

“This is the kind of cease-fire that, I don’t know, they had with Afghanistan I guess in 1979,” Saakashvili said. “There is no cease-fire, they [Russian forces] are moving around.” …

Saakashvili, flanked by the leaders of Lithuania, Poland, Estonia and Latvia in a media briefing early Wednesday, said Russian tanks were attacking and “rampaging” through the Georgian town of Gori despite the cease-fire…

President Saakashvili is right, of course.

And good for Mr. Bush. Indeed, he should go farther. As far as he can.

Though, it will never be truly enough.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 13th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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