Russian role in international affairs at risk, Bush says

Other News Materials 13 August 2008 22:34 (UTC +04:00)

US President George W Bush said Wednesday that Russia has placed its integration into the international diplomatic and economic system at "risk" by its military campaign in Georgia, dpa reported.

Bush accused Russia of continuing military operations inside of Georgia despite a ceasefire agreed to on Tuesday, and called on Moscow to immediately begin withdrawing troops from Georgian territory.

A US military C-17 cargo plane was flying to Georgia with supplies and the US Navy would soon be playing a role in the humanitarian mission to demonstrate "solidarity" with the Georgian people, Bush said.

"We expect Russia to honour its commitment to let in all forms of humanitarian assistance," Bush said after meeting with his foreign policy team at the White House.

The United States has supported a greater Russian role in global affairs but the nation is "putting its aspirations at risk by taking action in Georgia that is inconsistent with principals of those institutions," Bush said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been ordered to travel to the Georgian capital Tbilisi to demonstrate "unwavering" support for Georgia after first stopping in France to discuss the ceasefire brokered by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bush demanded Moscow immediately adhere to the truce and being removing troops from the former Soviet republic. Russia must honor its statement that it has no intention of removing the pro-Western government of President Mikheil Saakashvili, Bush said.

"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists the sovereignty and territory of Georgia be respected," Bush said.

Russian statements that military operations were halted have been "inconsistent" with developments on the ground, including the positioning of Russian troops outside the key city of Gori and in the port city of Podi, he said.

Bush did not say when Rice would leave for Georgia.

" Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis," Bush said.