Russia has defended its decision to recognize the independence of two breakaway
Georgian regions, saying Georgia's raid into South Ossetia created what it calls
a "new reality."
Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin spoke to
reporters Tuesday just after President Dmitri Medvedev ordered his foreign
ministry to set up diplomatic relations with South Ossetia and
Churkin Tuesday said Georgia's attempt to re-take control of
South Ossetia by force canceled past U.N. resolutions affirming Georgia's
But Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili calls
Russia's recognition completely illegal, pointing out that Abkhazia and South
Ossetia are part of Georgia under international law. He accused Russia of
attempting to redraw the map of Europe.
A Pentagon spokesman (Bryan
Whitman) said Tuesday Russia is still not living up to the cease-fire in
Georgia. He said Russian troops still maintain observation posts and
checkpoints. Russia had promised it would leave Georgia by the end last
Georgian troops moved into South
Ossetia August seventh, in a push to regain control of the rebellious territory.
The move triggered a massive Russian response, with Moscow sending in tanks and
thousands of troops, saying it had to protect Russian citizens.