Russia to suffer economically and politically: Britain

European Union leaders agreed on Monday to postpone talks with Russia on a new partnership pact due later this month until Moscow withdraws its troops to pre-conflict positions in Georgia.

Russia to suffer economically and politically: Britain
Russia will suffer politically and economically for its military intervention in Georgia even though it may have won short-term gains, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Tuesday.

Moscow is now more isolated and less trusted than it was a month ago, Miliband wrote in an opinion piece in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

Russia crushed its southern neighbour in a brief war last month after Georgia tried to recapture by force its pro-Moscow, separatist region of South Ossetia.

It has drawn Western condemnation by pushing beyond the disputed area, bombing and deploying troops deep inside Georgia proper.

"It has made short-term military gains, but over time it will feel economic and political losses. If Russia truly wants respect and influence, it must change course," Miliband wrote.

European Union leaders agreed on Monday to postpone talks with Russia on a new partnership pact due later this month until Moscow withdraws its troops to pre-conflict positions in Georgia. The EU avoided imposing sanctions on its largest energy supplier.

"Isolating Russia would be counter-productive, because its international economic integration is the best discipline on its politics," Miliband said.

Miliband said Europeans needed Russian gas but Russia also needed European markets and investment.

"Our approach must be hard-headed engagement," he said.

"Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that he is not afraid of a new cold war. We don't want one. He has a big responsibility not to start one," Miliband said.

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Eylül 2008, 14:27
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