US denies assurances to Russia on Georgia in NATO

Russia's foreign minister said on Thursday that the United States has assured Moscow that Washington will scrap Georgia's NATO aspirations if it attacks South Ossetia. But the US State Department denied any knowledge of such assurances.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Warsaw that ``high level'' US officials have said if Georgia undertakes ``an armed action against Ossetia, then it will scrap their plans for NATO membership.''

He gave no further details. In response to Lavrov's comments, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, ``I have no idea what the basis of that statement is.''

War broke out after Georgian forces launched an offensive Aug. 7 to retake breakaway South Ossetia. Russian forces then routed Georgia's military and drove deep into Georgia.

[Source: The Economic Times, Warsaw, 11Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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