U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, reiterated Washington’s opposition to recognition of Georgia’s two breakaway regions in her speech at a conference in Paris, when she was speaking about “core principles” of security in Europe.
She said on January 29 that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states was among those core principles that “guide the U.S. as we consider the future of European security and our role in shaping, strengthening, and sustaining it.”
“The United States has demonstrated our adherence to this principle in recent years with our support for new European democracies seeking to chart their own political futures, free from external intimidation or aggression,” she said.
“We have repeatedly called on Russia to honor the terms of its ceasefire agreement with Georgia, and we refuse to recognize Russia’s claims of independence for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More broadly, we object to any spheres of influence claimed in Europe in which one country seeks to control another’s future.”
Clinton also said that despite having disagreements with Russia, NATO and Moscow could be partners as both face new problems such as cyber security, global warming and nuclear proliferation.
"We are committed to exploring ways that NATO and Russia can improve their partnership by better reassuring each other about respective actions and intentions," Clinton said.
“I don’t need to state, but I will, that the United States and Russia will not always agree. We have different histories, different experiences and perspectives. Our interests will not always overlap. But when we disagree, we will seek constructive ways to manage our differences,” she added.
She said that the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, the pact setting troop levels in Europe, was “in danger of crumbling” after Moscow suspended its implementation two years ago.
Clinton also added: “The Russia-Georgia war in 2008 was not only a tragedy but has created a further obstacle to moving forward.”
On Russia’s proposals for new security treaties in Europe, Clinton said that common goals of security could be best dealt through existing institutions.
“Indivisibility of security is a key feature of those [Russian] proposals. And that is a goal we share, along with other ideas in the Russian proposals which reaffirm principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the NATO-Russia Founding Act. However, we believe that these common goals are best pursued in the context of existing institutions, such as the OSCE and the NATO-Russia Council, rather than by negotiating new treaties, as Russia has suggested – a very long and cumbersome process,” she said.