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26 Aug, 2008 07:51

Russia doesn't need new territories – Russian envoy to NATO

Russia’s envoy to NATO says he hopes the international community will understand the decision by Russia to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Dmitry Rogozin, who was recalled to Moscow for consulta

“This recognition is a logical reaction to Georgia's aggression. We are hopeful that most UN member states will take the news with understanding.”

Rogozin called Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili “an international provocateur who did his best to make Georgia's domestic conflict an international affair”.“Saakashvili is developing Stalin's idea: if there's a people there is a problem, if there's no people, there's no problem,” he said.

Suspended co-operation with NATO

Russia’s envoy to NATO also named fields in which co-operation with the alliance will be suspended following the recent conflict in South Ossetia. Speaking at a media conference in Moscow, he said co-operation will be mainly “pragmatic” and that military partnership will be significantly reduced.

Russia will freeze contact between top military officials and visits of NATO military vessels to Russian ports, put on hold joint military exercises and educational programmes, as well as suspend interaction of scientific experts in the military field.

Although Rogozin accused NATO of “double standards” he still said that Russia does not reject political dialogue.

He claimed Russia does not intend to stop working within sections of the Russia-NATO Council, such as the working group for cooperation in airspace, and for the control of conventional weapons.

Rogozin also underlined that Russia considers it premature to give up co-operation with NATO in Afghanistan.

“Our stance is that Afghanistan is our common problem,” he said. “The Taliban has been very active. As long as NATO forces are holding military operations in Afghanistan, we won’t make any moves, observing how our relations with the alliance develop.”

He added: “NATO’s information centre must stop its activities in Russia as we don’t have the opportunity to open our own information centre in NATO.”