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17 Sep, 2008 23:05

U.S. Senators blame Russia for conflict

The Georgia-South Ossetia conflict has once again come under the spotlight at the U.S. Senate. Although the Senators continue to point the finger at Moscow as an “aggressor” some say Russia and its stance are difficult to ignore.

With no clear thoughts on who started the war, the Senate was quick to pick a name for the hearing – “Russia’s aggression against Georgia”, which echoes America’s policy towards Russia in the Georgian conflict. To nobody's surprise, the Georgian Ambassador to the U.S. was present at the hearings. However, there was no one from the Russian side and the only person attempting to present both sides of the spectrum was the former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, William J. Burns.

He said that “Georgia’s decision to use force to reassert its sovereignty over South Ossetia against our strong and repeated warnings was short-sighted and ill-advised”.

This statement comes after Russia spent years telling Georgia that a military venture on South Ossetia would be suicidal for Georgia, and that Russia would protect the people of South Ossetia.

Perhaps not all Senators have a full understanding of what happened but in the end they seems to be aware they need to mend ties with Russia – a country which “can play an important role in the 21st century” as Acting Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Christian Dodd noted. He also said: “We want them to be a part of that cooperation.”

It seems that some in the U.S. are wondering whether it is worth risking the country’s relationship with Russia. Even though some U.S. officials continue the wave of criticism against Russia’s actions in Georgia, they admit they will have to find common ground.