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Kouchner: U.S. was Late in its Response to Georgia Crisis
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 13 Nov.'08 / 15:32

EU stepped in to put an end to the August war between Russia and Georgia, while the United States' response was late, Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, said on November 12.

“In the Georgian crisis, we took the initiative, when America's response was late,” he told an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Even if everything was far from perfect, we obtained a cease-fire, monitored today by a European force which ensures that commitments are lived up to, and the peace talks have started in Geneva.”

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who mediated ceasefire deal in August and then in September, told the European parliamentarians in Strasbourg in October, that the United States thought his “trip to Moscow was inappropriate” back in August when the French President engaged in talks with Russia over ceasefire terms. Sarkozy also said that although the United States position differed from the one of the European Union, “nevertheless we played hand-in-hand with our American allies.”

Speaking at the Brookings Institute, the French Foreign Minister also said that “Russia is a challenge to us.” “It may be seen today as part of the problem, but we must not forget that there is no solution to most of today’s problems without it, let alone against it,” Kouchner added.

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