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23 Aug, 2008 16:39

U.S. using NATO to pressurise Europe

Russia has suspended military co-operation with NATO and recalled its ambassador to the organisation to discuss what Moscow sees as a biased response to the South Ossetian conflict. A Russian draft resolution aimed at se

Russia's UN representative Vitaly Churkin says the French plan did not entirely reflect the six principles agreed by Moscow, Tbilisi and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy. In fact he said “only one and a half principles were left out of the initial six principles agreed upon between Medvedev and Sarkozy”.

Churkin said that Russia’s “French colleagues are essentially trying to dispute a plan that was contributed to and approved by the President of France”.

He added that was partly because Washington is using NATO to push its agenda on Europe:

“NATO is a tool that the United States uses to exert pressure upon the Europeans, no more, no less. That was very evident this time during the meeting in Brussels, when the US began pushing their approach through, trying to draw European diplomacy over to its positions”.

Mixed reaction

French President Nicolas Sarcozy has praised Russia for meeting its deadline in withdrawing its troops from Georgia in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart.

Meanwhile, German chancellor Angela Merkel called a conference of Georgia's neighbouring countries to help solve the conflict. Delegations from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are heading to Berlin.

However, Russia wasn’t invited. Analysts say that this could be another attempt to increase diplomatic pressure, which started after NATO cooled relations with Moscow.