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In Georgia Clash, a Lesson on U.S. Need for Russia

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Georgia's Volatile Risk-Taker Has Gone Over the Brink


The New York Times

August 10, 2008

News Analysis

By HELENE COOPER

WASHINGTON — The image of President Bush smiling and chatting with Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia from the stands of the Beijing Olympics even as Russian aircraft were shelling Georgia outlines the reality of America’s Russia policy. While America considers Georgia its strongest ally in the bloc of former Soviet countries, Washington needs Russia too much on big issues like Iran to risk it all to defend Georgia.

And State Department officials made it clear on Saturday that there was no chance the United States would intervene militarily.

Mr. Bush did use tough language, demanding that Russia stop bombing. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanded that Russia “respect Georgia’s territorial integrity.”

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Tags: foreign policy, georgia, russia
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