The Bush administration warned Russia yesterday that it would fail in its “strategic objective” of redrawing Europe’s post-cold war map by invading Georgia, as 26 Nato countries declared there would be “no business as usual” with Moscow until it withdraws its forces from Georgia.
An emergency meeting in Brussels of Nato foreign ministers voiced strong support for Georgia and agreed to establish new structures cementing Georgia’s links with the west, but avoided speeding up moves to bring Georgia into Nato.
Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, accused Russian forces in Georgia of “bombing civilians and wanton destruction” and told the Kremlin that the Russian government had hard choices to make if it wanted to avoid international isolation. The ministers opted to freeze sessions of the six-year-old Nato-Russia council until the Russian retreat was completed.
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“This Nato which has come so far in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace is not going to permit a new line to be drawn in Europe,” said Rice.
With the US, Britain, and the former Soviet satellites of central Europe adopting a robust position on the Kremlin’s conduct, the more pro-Russian governments in the European Union such as Germany, Italy, and France were muted yesterday.