Delay in EU response to conflict frustrates Latvian ex-president

Georgia Materials 11 August 2008 20:01 (UTC +04:00)

Latvia's former president Vaira Vike-Freiberga on Monday expressed frustration over the perceived delay in the European Union's response to the conflict between Russia and Georgia, reported dpa.

"I'm surprised and frustrated that the European Union will gather on Wednesday for an extraordinary summit of foreign ministers, and that the European Union was unable to come up with a united, coordinated, and condemning reaction as we have heard from the presidents of the three Baltic States and Poland," Vike-Freiberga told diena.lv news portal.

Vike-Freiberga is a member of the EU reflection group whose goal is to set a vision for the future of the 27-nation bloc.

During her two terms in office from 1999 to 2007, Vike-Freiberga gained a reputation as one of Europe's most influential stateswomen, counting both US President George W Bush and France's former president Jacques Chirac among her admirers.

Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland adopted a joint statement on Saturday condemning the actions of Russian forces fighting in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

A snap gathering of EU foreign ministers has been organised by the French EU presidency in Brussels for Wednesday.