Date registered: May 2007
Vehicle: Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
Location: The wild west of the Far East
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
If you haven't already read it here is the latest
9 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Russia is showing signs of returning to its authoritarian past and its invasion of Georgia will require the U.S. to re-evaluate the strategic relationship between the superpowers, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.
Joining in the hard-line rhetoric, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of failing to honoring a promise to withdrawing troops quickly from Georgia under terms of a cease-fire he signed Saturday.
"I hope this time he'll keep his word," Rice said after Medvedev announced the withdrawal would begin Monday.
Shadows of the Cold War emerged as the Bush administration struggled for the appropriate response to Russia's aggression against its smaller U.S.-backed neighbor, which Moscow ruled for most of the two centuries before the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union.
"There's a real concern that Russia has turned a corner here and is headed back to its past rather than its future," Gates said.
"The fact is we have worked hard to bring them (the Russians) into the community of nations. ... We thought they were headed in that direction," he added. "Now we have to re-evaluate all that."
Rice said Medvedev had pledged that when Georgia's president signed the cease-fire, Russian forces would begin to withdraw. But that did not happen.
"Russia currently is not in compliance with that cease-fire," Rice said. "I don't have an explanation because I would think that when the Russian president says that a signed cease-fire accord will mean the withdrawal of Russian forces, that Russian forces would then withdraw. They did not. However, yet again, the Russian president has given his word, and this time, I hope he'll honor it."
Fighting broke out after Georgia launched a massive barrage Aug. 7 to try to take control of the separatist province of South Ossetia. The Russian army quickly overwhelmed Georgia's forces and drove deep into the country, raising fears that of a long-term Russian occupation.
"If Russia thought it was going to be able to bring down the Georgia state, bring down the democratic institutions, it has failed," Rice said. "What they've done instead is to bring down Russia's reputation as a potential and I want to emphasize potential partner in the international system."
Russia's foreign minister said this past week that Georgia could "forget about" getting back the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which sympathize with Moscow. President Bush said over the weekend that Russia's vision of Georgia without those regions was a nonstarter and that Georgia's borders need to be respected.
Gates said "no one should try and force them back into a full relationship with Georgia." Negotiations should settle their status, he said, rather than a fate "brought about by Russian military force."
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill.
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second ... if there is one
- Winston Churchill, in response.