Germany criticises Russian move on Georgia regions

Germany said it expected President Dmitry Medvedev to ignore the advice.

Germany criticises Russian move on Georgia regions
Germany criticised a resolution by Russian lawmakers on Monday that urges the Kremlin to recognise two breakaway Georgian regions as independent, and said it expected President Dmitry Medvedev to ignore the advice.

Both houses of Russia's parliament, the upper house Federation Council and the lower house State Duma, voted for resolutions calling on Medvedev to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.

The status of the regions, which are loyal to Russia and keen to break away from Georgia, is at the centre of the conflict between Moscow and Tbilisi that erupted into violent clashes earlier this month.

"As far as we're concerned, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia cannot be called into question and the resolution of the Federation Council contradicts the principle of territorial integrity," German government spokesman Thomas Steg said.

"In this sense, it is a decision that is not aimed at calming the situation or reducing tensions. Therefore, we expect that neither the Russian government nor the president will follow the advice of the Federation Council."

Steg, who spoke after the Federation Council vote but before the State Duma one, also said Germany believed Russia had not met its obligations to pull back all of its troops under a six-point peace plan brokered by EU president France.

"The Russian troops have begun a withdrawal and pulled back. What hasn't happened is a full withdrawal," Steg said, citing Russian checkpoints on major roads and the continued presence of Russian troops in the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti.

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2008, 15:23
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