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19 Aug, 2008 01:53

Russia calls off meeting with NATO

Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has called off a meeting of the Russia-NATO council due to follow today’s Brussels meeting of the foreign ministers of the 26 members of the alliance to discuss the situation in Georgia.

Rogozin also warned of Russia possibly reconsidering its relations with NATO if its members take a biased stand on the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict.

He specifically emphasised that if NATO chooses to take such a position, Russia will not be able to maintain the high level and quality of Russia-NATO relations, and the blame for the collapse of the current global security system would fall on Washington and its allies.

“We cannot wait for an ambulance which does not care to arrive for a week,” he said.

Rogozin also said that high-ranking NATO officials’ saying that the crisis in the Caucasus won’t influence Georgia’s prospects for NATO entry is unacceptable.
He added that Russia would closely look into the decisions the council takes.

This follows the news that for the first time during the whole period of Russia-NATO co-operation the alliance has refused to provide a conference hall so that the Russian envoy can hold a news conference. NATO claims all the halls are currently occupied with the alliance’s activities.

The U.S. has been blocking a meeting of the Russia-NATO council on the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia throughout the past week.