Shevardnadze: Russia a threat to Europe

Georgia Materials 19 August 2008 12:53 (UTC +04:00)

Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze Tuesday labelled Russia a threat to Europe and called for Moscow to be punished for its invasion of Georgia, dpa reported.

"The Georgia conflict is a test," the former Soviet foreign minister told the French daily Le Parisien. "If the Europeans let Russia away with this, what guarantee can they then give Poland or the Baltic states if the scenario repeats itself?"

Shevardnadze called on the European Union and the US to extend financial and humanitarian help to Georgia. "And why not military help also?," he added. "The penalty for Russia should be its withdrawal from Georgia and the assurance that it will make no similar new attempt."

The US has provided material and moral support to Georgia, as well as helping to train its military.

According to Shevardnadze, the mooted accession of Georgia to NATO ought not to have been a provocation for Russia.

"The Atlantic alliance is not an aggressive organization," he said.