August 27, 2008 / 12:00 PM / 11 years ago

Russia must cancel Georgia region recognitions: NATO

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO nations reaffirmed their condemnation on Wednesday of Russia’s move to recognize the rebel South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia and jointly called on Moscow to reverse the step.

“The North Atlantic Council condemns the decision of the Russian Federation to extend recognition to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian regions of Georgia and calls upon Russia to reverse its decision,” the 26-nation military alliance said in a statement after its main political body met in Brussels.

The brief statement said the move, which was announced by President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday after a brief war with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia, violated past U.N. Security Council resolutions on Georgia’s territorial integrity.

“Russia’s actions have called into question its commitment to peace and security in the Caucasus,” it said, reflecting widespread condemnation of Moscow’s decision already heard from national capitals in the West on Tuesday.

The conflict has cast a pall over tentative efforts by NATO and Russia in recent years to improve military ties, with NATO saying normal contacts are not possible until Moscow has stuck to the terms of a French-brokered peace deal, and Russia casting doubt over various joint projects between the two.

Reporting by Mark John

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