Poland, Baltics to work out common stance on Georgia for EU summit

Georgia Materials 28 August 2008 15:19 (UTC +04:00)

President Lech Kaczynski was slated to meet with heads of three Baltic states to work out a common stance on Georgia for an upcoming European Union summit, his chancellery told Radio ZET on Thursday, reported dpa.

"There's an expectation from the Baltic states that the president in Brussels will present a common stance of the three states - the three Baltic states and Poland," said Piotr Kownacki, vice-chief of the president's chancellery.

Kaczynski will meet with his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia either on Thursday or Monday. He could fly Thursday to Vilnius or another Baltic capital, Kownacki said, or meet the heads of state in Brussels on Monday before the summit.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk will attend Monday's summit along with Kaczynski. The two politicians are also slated to meet on Friday to work out a common strategy on the Georgia issue.

Kaczynski emerged as one of Georgia's strongest supporters after the recent Russia-Georgia conflict. He supports sanctions against Russia and says the EU hasn't taken a tough enough stance. Tusk is more diplomatic and supports working with the EU and upholding a French-Russian plan to resolve the conflict.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev formally recognized Georgia's rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent on Tuesday, defying Western criticism. The breakaway provinces fuelled a brief but bloody Russian-Georgia conflict earlier this month.

Poland's Foreign Ministry has called for the respecting of Georgia's territorial integrity. The United States slammed Russia's recognition, while the EU also reaffirmed support for Georgia.

Medvedev stressed that Russia has long held back from recognizing the regions' pleas for independence, but Georgia's attack on South Ossetia had forced its hand.