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13 Aug, 2008 05:05

Russia is not aggressor - US politician

While US presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, condemn Russia's actions during Georgia’s offensive on South Ossetia, there are others on the campaign trail who take a different stance on the conflict.

As world leaders looked for a solution to the crisis in South Ossetia, the U.S. presidential candidates were eager to venture their opinions on what should be done.

Gloria La Riva is running on the Socialism and Liberation ticket. She's one of several candidates unable to afford the multi-million dollar high profile of the main two, and is little-known outside the U.S. She offered a different explanation of U.S. interests in the region.

''There's a lot of oil in the Caspian Sea and the region and that's what the U.S. is interested in. They don't want to see another country like Russia be an economic or political power,'' said La Riva.

The conflict in South Ossetia continues to make headlines in the U.S. with many of them blaming Russia. La Riva says this is not a coincidence: ''The media in the U.S. reflects the interests of the U.S. government and U.S. imperialism. And therefore, they naturally portray Russia as the aggressor, but we know that's not true''.

Meanwhile, both McCain and Obama have reportedly held conversations with Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili over the matter. But they have offered little sympathy or understanding of the peacekeeping work which Russia has undertaken in the region for well over a decade.

Meanwhile, Obama has interrupted his holiday in Hawaii to issue this statement: ''This is a clear violation of the sovereignty and international-recognised borders of Georgia. The United States, Europe and all other concerned countries must stand united in condemning this aggression and in seeking a peaceful resolution to the crisis''.

Republican John McCain took it a step further. He wants to involve NATO – the alliance Georgia's been trying to join for years.

He said: ''NATO'S North Atlantic Council should convene an emergency session to demand a ceasefire and begin discussions on both the deployment of an international peace keeping force to South Ossetia and the implications for NATO's future relationship with Russia, a Partnership for Peace nation."
Despite their slight differences, both Obama and McCain took strikingly similar positions, virtually in line with the White House.