Britain warns against suspending NATO-Russia ties

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier that he was ready for any sanctions by NATO, including the alliance opting to halt relations with Moscow altogether.

Britain warns against suspending NATO-Russia ties
Britain said on Monday it believed it would be wrong for all NATO-Russia contacts to be suspended despite widespread concern in the alliance about Russian military action in Georgia.

"NATO-Russian relations will need to take fully into account the implications of Russian military actions in Georgia," a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters.

"However we believe it would be a mistake to suspend all NATO-Russia contacts when they are so much needed."

London was responding to comments by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who said earlier that he was ready for any sanctions by NATO, including the alliance opting to halt relations with Moscow altogether.

"We are ready to accept any decision, up to halting relations altogether," Medvedev said at a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi with Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman also expressed the British government's "regret" over a vote in Russia's lower house of parliament for Moscow to recognise Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

"We regret that this vote will only add tension in the region," the spokeswoman said. "We call on Russia to live up to its commitments and refrain from acts which may further raise already very high levels of tension."

"This move can only raise suspicions about Russia's motives and aims coming after news of continued Russian military activity in Senaki and Poti," she said, adding that the vote was non-binding on Medvedev.

Formal recognition by Russia of the independence of South Ossetia and the Black Sea province of Abkhazia would put it on a collision course with the United States and other Western nations, which insist on Georgia's territorial integrity.

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2008, 17:52
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