Saturday, August 23, 2008

Austrian minister says Russia no longer a reliable partner

23 August 2008 17:28 FOCUS News Agency

Berlin. Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said Saturday that Russia's military intervention in Georgia had seriously undermined its credibility as a reliable partner of the West, AFP reports. In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, she also expressed fears that the Kremlin could be planning further interventions in the Russian-speaking world.

"Russia's response was neither legitimate nor proportionate," Plassnik said, adding that Moscow had "over-reacted in a totally exaggerated way with its ill-advised Georgian military operation."

"Russia violated the territorial integrity and sovereignty of another state with military violence. It's serious. Russia has massively undermined its image in the world of a reliable partner for the future," Plassnik said. She said it was conceivable Russia's actions in Georgia could be a precedent for more military endeavours planned by Moscow.

"We are going to have to keep a good eye on other countries where some of the inhabitants speak Russian and have Russian ethnicity. I am thinking first of all about Ukraine, but not only," she said.


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