World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Russian Action Has Long-Term Implications - Gates

Robert M. Gates Gates Says Russian Actions Have Long-Term Implications

Washington, Aug. 14, 2008 - Countries around the world are looking at Russia "through new lenses" following its aggression against the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today. Video

Meanwhile, the United States continues humanitarian efforts to help Georgians affected by the conflict. Two U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo jets have delivered supplies to Georgia, and another aircraft delivered a U.S. military survey team to the country.

"During these humanitarian relief operations, the United States expects Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport -- including seaports, airports, roads and airspace -- remain open," Gates said during a Pentagon news conference.

Gates echoed President Bush's call for Russia to abide by its commitment to cease all military activities in Georgia. "We expect all Russian forces that entered Georgia in recent days to withdraw from that country," Gates said.

Russian aggression against Georgia will have long-term implications for U.S.-Russian relations, the secretary said. The military incursion into Georgia will affect ongoing and long-term strategic dialogue with the Russian Federation that he and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had engaged in since 2007, Gates said.

"The expectation was that our two nations, despite our differences, shared areas of common interest where we could work together as real partners," he said.

But Russia's military action in Georgia and in the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia "has called into question the entire premise of that dialogue, and has profound implications for our security relationship going forward, both bilaterally and with NATO," Gates said.

"If Russia does not step back from its aggressive posture and actions in Georgia, the U.S.-Russian relationship could be adversely affected for years to come."

The United States cancelled participation in a multinational naval exercise with Russia due to begin tomorrow. "We've also canceled a U.S.-Canadian-Russian exercise -- Vigilant Eagle -- that was to have begun on Aug. 20," Gates said.

"In the days and weeks ahead, the Department of Defense will reexamine the entire gamut of our military-to-military activities with Russia and will make changes as necessary and appropriate, depending on Russian actions in the days ahead," the secretary said.

-- By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UNFCCC: Simon Stiell Appointed New Executive Secretary
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Simon Stiell as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany...

Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>

UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Afghanistan: One Year On From Regime Change And Children Face An Unimaginable A Crisis
On the one-year anniversary of regime change in Afghanistan, a new World Vision report highlights the grave risk the country’s children face from starvation, forced child marriage, and child labour... More>>

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>