Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pot calling the kettle "black"

Pot calls the kettle "black"...

And Mr Cheyney, why can't the Lithium-Ion battery industry have a billion dollars to help get electric cars on the road faster? Then we won't need the oil pipeline in Georgia that's causing most of these problems...The Saudis and Iranians will go broke, the USA can retreat to the isolationist stance you had during the first half of WW2 and the environment will thank you as well.

Oh wait...Halliburton doesn't make batteries, it repairs war silly of me...


Cheney criticises Russia on Georgia visit

September 5, 2008 - 7:48AM

US Vice President Dick Cheney accused Russia Thursday of an "illegitimate" invasion to redraw the map of Georgia and cast doubt on whether Russia could be trusted as an international partner.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Cheney pledged US help beyond a one billion dollar (690 million euro) aid package announced Wednesday.

Meanwhile Moscow, which says its military intervention was justified because Georgia had attacked Russian citizens in breakaway South Ossetia, received the backing of foreign ministers from six ex-Soviet countries.

They stopped short of following Russia into recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a second separatist region also at the centre of last month's brief war.

"Russia's actions have cast grave doubt on Russia's intentions and on its reliability as an international partner, not just in Georgia but across this region and indeed across the international system," Cheney said.

"After your nation won its freedom in the Rose Revolution, America came to the aid of this courageous young democracy," he said, referring to the 2003 uprising that brought Saakashvili to power.

"We are doing so again as you work to overcome an invasion of your sovereign territory and an illegitimate, unilateral attempt to change your country's borders by force that has been universally condemned by the free world."

Later Thursday the OSCE said it had sent military observers in a buffer zone between Russian and Georgian troops for the first time since the conflict.

The European security body said its officers were patrolling the road between the villages of Karaleti and Megrevekisi, four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the bombed-out South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.

Georgia Russia has said it will only pull troops out of the buffer zone once international controls including military observers and police are in place in the area and once Georgia signs a non-aggression pact.

Cheney, who became the highest-ranking American official to visit Tbilisi since last month's conflict, watched boxes of aid being unloaded to highlight the one-billion-dollar US package.

Saakashvili, for his part, said the "number one priority" was the rebuilding of Georgia, parts of which were left devastated by Russia's fighter planes and advancing troops.

Russia sent its forces into Georgia on August 8, one day after Georgia had tried to take back control of the rebel region of South Ossetia from Moscow-backed separatists.

US-Russia relations have nosedived since the US led angry Western criticism of Moscow's military action, its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and the continued presence of its troops in Georgia.

On Thursday, the parliaments of Russia and Abkhazia signed a cooperation agreement aimed at harmonising the laws of the two countries, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"The parties will begin harmonising the legislation of the Russian Federation with the legislation of the Republic of Abkhazia," the report quoted the text as saying.

Cheney is pointedly not visiting Russia on a tour that has already taken him to Azerbaijan, where he stressed that the security of the energy-rich region was a top concern for Washington.

His trip has also been aimed at expanding the transit of oil and gas exports to the West through pipelines across Georgia and Azerbaijan, avoiding Russia which Washington views with increasing distrust.

Cheney also strongly backed Georgia's bid to join NATO, a move that has been vehemently opposed by Russia, saying Washington was "fully committed" to its eventual membership.

"As the current members of NATO declared at a summit in Bucharest, Georgia will be in our alliance," he said, referring to an April meeting of the Western military bloc.

NATO's chief, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, plans to visit Georgia later this month for further aid talks.

After his talks with Saakashvili, Cheney headed to Ukraine where President Viktor Yushchenko has plunged the country into fresh political turmoil by pulling his Our Ukraine party out of the ruling pro-Western coalition.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega became the first foreign leader to follow Russia's lead and recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, newspaper reports there said Wednesday.

© 2008 AFP

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