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US Warship Delivers Aid To Georgian Port

From a concerned Reuters:

A Georgian flag flies in front of the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul anchored in the harbor of Batumi, western Georgia, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008.

U.S. navy arrives in Georgia

By Niko Mchedlishvili

BATUMI, Georgia (Reuters) – A U.S. navy warship delivered humanitarian aid on Sunday for victims of Georgia’s brief war with Russia while Moscow ignored Western demands to pull its remaining troops from the Caucasus country’s heartland.

Russia says residual troops are peacekeepers needed to avert further bloodshed and to protect Georgia’s separatist, pro-Moscow provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow withdrew the bulk of its forces from core Georgia on Friday.

But in a sign of simmering tensions, a fuel train exploded on Georgia’s main east-west rail line on Sunday near the central town of Gori after hitting a landmine, according to Georgian officials. A huge plume of black smoke climbed into the sky.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze told Reuters the damaged rail link was vital to the economy of Georgia and its neighbors, and Azeri officials said oil cargoes were being held up at the Georgian border following the explosion…

A Reuters reporter in Batumi, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the port of Poti where Russian troops are still present, saw a giant crane unload 55 tons of aid from the USS McFaul.

Two other U.S. ships were due to follow the guided missile destroyer to the port. The United States, a strong ally of Georgia, has already delivered some aid by military cargo plane but is now shipping in beds and food.

“The United States is our great friend. They have arrived at such a difficult time. It means we are not alone,” Georgian Defence Minister David Kezerashvili told reporters in Batumi…

In Georgia, the West is particularly worried about a Russian checkpoint set up at the port of Poti, which lies outside the security zone Russia says is covered by its peacekeeping mandate and is hundreds of kilometers from South Ossetia.

Putting up permanent facilities and checkpoints are inconsistent with the (ceasefire) agreement,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

Underscoring the potential for renewed violence, Russian soldiers manning a checkpoint on the road between Zugdidi and Senaki in western Georgia fired shots in the air to disperse a protest by angry residents. No injuries were reported.

Russia has deployed its “peacekeepers” at a series of posts in the Poti area and also in a buffer zone outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia, saying they are allowed under the terms of a French-brokered ceasefire deal. But France urged Moscow on Saturday to order its forces out of Poti as soon as possible…

But how long will it be before our media and the rest of the America-hating left declare such assistance as too provocative?

Probably starting with the Anointed One himself.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 24th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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