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2 Oct, 2008 12:02

Georgia's territorial integrity ‘not up for discussion’ - Merkel

Georgia's territorial integrity is not an issue to discuss. That’s according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who spoke to a news conference following talks with President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the Russian-German business forum in St Peter

Russia drew Western criticism when it recognised Georgia's breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states in late August after a brief war with Tbilisi, which attacked South Ossetia on August 8.

“We discussed the situation in the Caucasus – differences on the issue have not been settled completely so far,” Merkel said before adding: “Georgia's territorial integrity is not up for discussion.”

Speaking at a news conference in St. Petersburg after a Russian-German summit President Medvedev touched upon the Caucasus issue as well. The recent bloody events in Georgia “have shown that the current system of global security is incapable today of preventing military gambles, but we must do everything possible to create a reliable modern structure for such security for the future,” stressed Medvedev.

The global financial crisis was also high on the agenda during the talks. At a news conference Dmitry Medvedev voiced the opinion that the G8 shouldn’t be alone in debating how to curb the current financial crisis. He believes that other larger countries which have weight in the financial world should definitely get involved in such discussions.

Speaking to journalists Medvedev called the current world system of financial security ‘inadequate’.

“The shortcomings of economic policy and the development model that has been adopted in the United States in recent years was to blame for this (global economic crisis),” he added.

Finally, the two country’s leaders turned to the subject of Nord Stream, a Russian-German joint project.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on 'extra-regional powers' not to try to put pressures on the implementation of the project.

At the inter-state consultations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel within the framework of the St. Petersburg Dialogue Forum on Thursday Medvedev said “the benefits of this project are obvious and it will be useful to all participants.”

“We are hoping for the project's progress. Also we expect that all powers not part of the region and that have no bearing on the affair will not try to influence it,” he said.