Moscow says NATO 'protecting' Georgia's Saakashvili

Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that NATO had taken Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili under its protection RIA Novosti reports.

NATO foreign ministers said after talks earlier Tuesday that the alliance was freezing contacts with Russia until it pulled its troops out of Georgia.

"The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has in fact taken Saakashvili under its protection," Lavrov said, adding that NATO had taken a biased position on the conflict in South Ossetia.

He said getting Georgia involved in NATO activities results from anti-Russian sentiments in the military alliance.

Lavrov said the encouragement for Georgia joining NATO "is dictated by an intention which I cannot describe as being anything but anti-Russian and supportive of the aggressive regime."

He warned that Moscow would draw appropriate conclusions from NATO's pro-Georgian stance.

[Source: FOCUS Information Agency, Moscow, 19Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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