America has taken steps to reassure Ukraine and Georgia that pressing the reset button with Russia will not mean abandoning them. Vice-President Joe Biden carried the message to Kiev, two weeks after his boss explored better ties with Moscow. The Kremlin considers the former Soviet states as part of its sphere of influence, and vehemently opposes plans to integrate them into NATO.However, Biden will stress that US support for Ukraine and Georgia does not mean a blank cheque, and will urge all political leaders to stop squabbling and make hard choices for the future. In Tbilisi, Biden will re-state calls for reform, saying that, as in Ukraine, Georgia’s revolution remains a work in progress. “I want to make our conceptual discussion more concrete, to turn ideas into goals, to set timeframes for these goals to speed up the important processes we have started,” said President Mikheil Saakashvili. “But the door will remain open for the leaders of opposition, for any political forces who respect the legitimate way of doing things.” But even as the President spoke, protests erupted outside parliament. The opposition decries Saakashvili’s authoritarian style, and his failed leadership in last summer’s disastrous war with Russia.
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