Georgia-Russia disputes no "easy problem": Clinton

09:10, July 06, 2010      

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Visiting U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton said on Monday that the Georgia-Russia territorial disputes are "not an easy problem".

At a press conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the Georgian capital, Clinton also said that the United States does not recognize "spheres of influence", referring to Russia's influence in former Soviet republics, including Georgia.

"The United States is steadfast in its commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity," she added.

"We continue to call for Russia to abide by the August 2008 ceasefire commitment... including by ending the occupation and withdrawing Russian troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their pre-conflict positions."

Georgia was Clinton's last leg of a five-nation tour in Eastern Europe that has already brought her to Ukraine, Poland, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war in August 2008, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, a Georgian rebel republic, to retake the renegade region that borders Russia. In response, Moscow sent in troops to drive Georgian forces out of the region.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states on Aug. 26, 2008, two weeks after the conflict ended.

Georgia and the West have condemned Russia's plans for military presence in Abkhazia, which they consider sovereign Georgian land.

Source: Xinhua


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