Cheney Condemns Russia's Actions in Georgia

September 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a strong condemnation of Russia today after meeting with Georgia's president. The Vice President is on a tour of ex-Soviet Republics that are increasingly wary of Russian aggression. The Vice President's trip to Georgia underscores just how invested the U.S. is in this small, but strategically placed country.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has been called a "political corpse" by his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev.

Mr. Cheney's words instead framed russia as the country in trouble. "Russia's actions have cast grave doubts on Russia's intentions and on its reliability as an international partner."

But Mr. Saakashvili was more reserved, hinting Georgia would consider speaking directly with Russia. "Georgia is a peace-loving nation. We will do our best to avoid violence."

It was 5 days of Russian violence during the war over Georgia's separatist regions that sparked international criticism. Since then, the U.S. has pledged $1 billion dollars to help Georgia rebuild.

Georgian troops have long supported U.S. efforts in Iraq. In 2007 the U.S. sent the country $63 million dollars. A third of that went to military training.

Despite the fact that, during his trip, Russian troops continued to operate checkpoints inside Georgia, the vice president remained silent on whether the U.S. will bolster the Georgian military.

The U.S. would clearly like to see Georgia's energy sector vastly empowered. The country, no larger than South Carolina, has the only direct oil & gas pathway to the west that circumvents both Russia and Iran; a key focus of Mr. Cheney's trip.



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