The United States and Russia continue to disagree on Georgia and it will be raised again when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits Washington on Thursday, Michael McFaul, the U.S. President’s special assistant and senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council, said on June 22.
"We consider their [Russian] occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be illegitimate... and we’ll discuss this issue most certainly," he said in a conference call on upcoming visit of Medvedev to Washington.
He reiterated that Washington was committed to continue supporting Georgia and also said that the United States' European allies, including Georgia, became more secure as a result of Obama administration's policy of "reset" with Russia.
"We have a robust relationship with the government of Georgia. We have a very robust assistance program to Georgia - GDP per capita [assistance], it’s got to be one of the highest in the world... We have a long-term goal of trying to end the Russian occupation of those two territories [Abkhazia, South Ossetia]. That is our goal," McFaul said.
"Is Georgia and is the rest of Europe more secure today than Europe was when we first got here? And I think our answer is yes," he added.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications at the White House, said during the same conference call, that even as Washington and Moscow had differences on some issues, "we can cooperate on areas of mutual concern."
"And of course the flip side of that is even where we cooperate on areas of mutual concern, we don’t paper over our differences either," Rhodes said.