Senator Obama on Russia’s Decision to Recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Independent States

SENATOR BARACK OBAMAChicago, IL (RUSHPRNEWS)August 27, 2008— “I condemn Russia’s decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and call upon all countries of the world not to accord any legitimacy to this action.

“The United States should call for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to condemn Russia’s decision in coordination with our European allies.

The U.S. should lead within the UN and other international forums to cast a clear and unrelenting light on the decision, and to further isolate Russia internationally because of its actions. The OSCE must also send a serious monitoring group to Georgia.
“Georgia’s economic recovery is an urgent strategic priority that demands the focused attention of the United States and our allies. That is why Senator Biden and I have called for $1 billion in reconstruction assistance to help the people of Georgia in this time of great trial. I also welcome NATO’s decision to establish a NATO-Georgia Commission and applaud the new French and German initiatives to continue work on these issues within the EU. The Bush Administration should call for a US-EU-Georgia summit in September that focuses on strategies for preserving Georgia’s territorial integrity and advancing its economic recovery.
“Russia’s government must respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and other independent states. Its refusal to do so calls into question its commitment to the responsibilities of membership to organizations such as the OCSE and the Russia-NATO Council, its application to join the WTO and the OECD, and makes it impossible for Congress to enact the civil nuclear agreement. If Russia’s government continues to violate the norms and practices of the international community, the United States and our allies must review all aspects of relations with Russia.
“Let us be clear, no one wants to see another Cold War with Russia. The United States and Russia have many mutual interests, and Russia has the potential to become a critical stakeholder in the international system. But Russia’s recent choices –not American or European decisions — are threatening this potential and reminding us all that peace and security in Europe cannot be taken for granted,” said Senator Barack Obama.