Russia slams NATO for “Cold War” visit to Georgia

A050721916.jpgMOSCOW (Reuters) – A visit to Georgia by senior NATO officials this week was anti-Russian and showed the alliance is driven by Cold War-style thinking, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“Decisions taken … confirmed that in NATO, the Cold War-era reflexes of ‘them and us’ are at work once again,” a statement said.

“We cannot view steps to intensify relations between the alliance and Georgia any other way than as encouragement for new adventures … We believe the alliance’s session in Tbilisi in the current conditions was not timely and does not help stabilization in the region.”

The statement said the visit showed an anti-Russian tendency because NATO officials only viewed war damage inside Georgia, and not in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which Georgian troops had tried to retake.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer this week led a session in Tbilisi of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s highest political decision-making body, and an inaugural session of a Georgia-NATO commission.

NATO states created the commission to bolster ties with Georgia in the aftermath of Russia’s military intervention in the ex-Soviet state last month, which drew widespread international condemnation.

Russia said it sent in troops to prevent what it called a genocide by Georgian forces against Moscow-backed separatists. Moscow has accused Tbilisi’s Western allies of encouraging aggression by helping to arm and train Georgia’s military.

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