Russia has come under increasing international criticism for its military actions in Georgia, with calls for cuts in diplomatic ties and the imposition of sanctions.
Georgia tried to keep up the pressure by voting to break all ties with Moscow. Parliament called on President Mikheil Saakashvili to declare Russia’s forces “occupiers” of Georgian territory.
America is considering scrapping a civil nuclear agreement with Moscow, and may impose sanctions as further punishment.
“We are in the process of re-evaluating our relationship with Russia. And we are doing that in concert with our international partners, such as France, but also many others, including Germany and all NATO countries,” said the White House’s Dana Perino.
Former President, now Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hit back, saying he suspected someone in the US provoked the fighting in Georgia to help a candidate in the American election.
“The suspicion arises that someone in the United States deliberately created this conflict with the aim of making the situation more tense, and thereby creating a competitive advantage for one of the candidates fighting for the post of President,” Putin said.
Washington dismissed that as irrational.
Moscow won some backing from its eastern neighbours, but it was at best lukewarm. The Shanghai Group, an Asian security body, urged a peaceful resolution in Georgia, but failed to offer explicit support.
Beijing acknowledged the complex issues, but other countries merely accepted Russia’s traditional role in the Caucasus.