Russia has scored a limited success at a summit with Asian allies, while on the other hand the EU is considering imposing sanctions over Russia’s action in Georgia. In the Tajik capital Dushanbe, China and four other (ex-Soviet) states said they “support Russia’s active role in regional peace and cooperation.”
However, they shied away from backing Moscow’s recognition of independence for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said: “The response of Russia (to the initial Georgian attack) could have been to remain silent, or to protect its citizens. I think all Russia did afterwards was aimed at preventing more bloodshed.”
The Kremlin dismissed the European Union threat of sanctions as the product of a “sick imagination”.
Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner of the current EU presiding nation France said: “We have been trying to come up with a joint resolution not to accept (what is happening in Georgia) any more. The possibility of sanctions is under study – yes – and other means as well.”
NATO, in its turn, dismissed Russian suggestions it was reinforcing its presence in the Black Sea. Russia has sent a missile cruiser to the area where two US warships are patrolling.
Meanwhile, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy has insisted Russian forces that have not yet pulled back to their pre-fighting positions, and said they must do so immediately.