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Russia Rejects New UN Draft on Georgia

  • VOA News

Russia has rejected a new United Nations Security Council draft resolution demanding an immediate troop withdrawal from Georgia in compliance with a cease-fire.

The French draft demands Russian troops pull back to positions they held before fighting broke out in Georgia on August seventh. It also demands Georgian forces return to their bases.

Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said during Tuesday's emergency session that he cannot back a resolution that does not include all six points of the cease-fire.

The cease-fire signed by Russia and Georgia includes a provision for Russian-led security measures in Georgia.

Russia has veto power on the Council and France says it will watch the situation on the ground in Georgia before deciding whether to bring the resolution to a vote.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told CBS television that Russia is clearly not withdrawing its forces from Georgia and that time is up. She said Russia is looking more and more like an outlaw and is further isolating itself.

Rice was in Brussels for a NATO foreign ministers meeting. The ministers agreed that NATO cannot carry out business as usual with Moscow until its troops leave Georgia.

Rice said the NATO meeting demonstrated its support for Georgian democracy and territorial integrity. She stressed that both Georgia and Ukraine remain possible candidates for NATO membership.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused NATO of bias and efforts to save what he called Georgia's "criminal regime."

Rice was also in Warsaw Tuesday to sign an agreement to build part of a U.S. ballistic missile defense system in Poland.

Russia strongly opposes the system, calling it a threat to its security. But U.S. officials insist it is aimed at defending Europe from a possible attack from Iran and in no way threatens Russia

The Czech Republic has agreed to accept radar for the system on its territory.

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