White House Denounces Russia for Separatist Stance

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CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush today urged Russia to reconsider its “irresponsible decision” to shower independent status on two breakaway Georgian provinces.

Already rebuffed by President Medvedev, Mr. Bush warned Russia to change course and respect the borders of its Georgian neighbor.

“Russia’s action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations,” the president said by written statement from Texas, where he is spending a quiet vacation.

Mr. Medvedev said today that his country will grant diplomatic recognition to the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He said Georgia forced Russia’s hand by trying to gain control by force in the smaller of the two areas, South Ossetia, on August 7.

Mr. Bush shot back that Russia’s move violates both United Nations resolutions and the six-point cease-fire deal that Russia, under Mr. Medvedev’s watch, signed with Georgia to end war.

“We expect Russia to live up to its international commitments, reconsider this irresponsible decision, and follow the approach set out in the six-point agreement,” Mr. Bush said.

The White House says America will use its veto power to on the U.N. Security Council to ensure that the two separatist provinces remain part of Georgia in the eyes of the world.

Secretary of State Rice said that any push by Russia to do otherwise will be “dead on arrival” at the United Nations.


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