Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rice Says Georgian War Leaves Russia Isolated

Dialogue between Washington and Moscow since the war in Georgia broke out six weeks ago has been harsh, and Rice's speech on September 18 elevated the level of rhetoric. The secretary at no point raised her voice, but her words were stern, and at one point even sarcastic.

Rice called Russia's move into Georgia "premeditated," and noted that after hostilities ended in Georgia, the world rushed to help rebuild the country's infrastructure that had been damaged by the presence of Russian troops.

Meanwhile, she said, Russia had to be satisfied with encouragement from only the most trivial of backers -- from Nicaragua and the Palestinian group Hamas, which she described as "not a diplomatic triumph."

And Rice said Russia failed to reap any lasting benefits from the war in Georgia. It proved the obvious, she said, namely that it could easily defeat a small neighbor. But she noted that Georgia's democracy remains intact, its economy will soon thrive again, and with the help of its allies, its independence will be guaranteed.

Russia, meanwhile, will have gained nothing. "Russia's invasion of Georgia has achieved -- and will achieve -- no enduring strategic objective," she said. "And our strategic goal now is to make clear to Russia's leaders that their choices could put Russia on a one-way path to self-imposed isolation and international irrelevance."

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Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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