( С ) - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on April 10 that Russia should not do anything that could encourage separatist movements in Georgia.
"We expect Russia to have influence with its neighbors -- you always have influence with your neighbors -- but that it ought to take the character of respect for the independence of those states and in the case of Georgia, respect for the territorial integrity of Georgia, which means doing nothing to suggest that the separatist movements in South Ossetia or in Abkhazia have any claim to independence," she said.
In her remarks at the Edward R. Murrow Journalism Program in Washington, Secretary Rice noted that the authorities in the United States have been "major supporters of good relations with Georgia and Russia because they live next to each other."
"We have... very good relations with Georgia and we're going to maintain those very good relations with Georgia. Georgia is an independent state. It can choose its foreign policy direction," the Secretary of State said.
She also said that although the U.S. and Russia don't agree about everything, relations between the two countries are "essentially good."