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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 22
US Senator calls on US to lead “diplomatic counterattack” against Russia

The United States should lead a “diplomatic counterattack” against Russia over the situation in Georgia and engage other NATO member states, said US Republican senator Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs said.

“Washington must lead an intensive international diplomatic counteroffensive against Russia's efforts. Russian actions require a timely, robust and intensive diplomatic response from Washington. This issue will not resolve itself, and significant US interests are at stake,” he said.

Lugar said Georgia is an “important friend” of the US, adding that “most of the country’s young leadership was educated in America and, after assuming power, quickly sought to join Western institutions.”

“Georgians have made welcome military contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The country hosts a large segment of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Western markets,” Lugar said.

The senate recently adopted a resolution condemning the “provocative and dangerous statements by Russia undermining territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia.” Lugar, along with Democratic senator Joseph candidate drafted the resolution.

“Moscow is undertaking legal and diplomatic steps that could lead to recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two separatist Georgian territories. These actions are blatantly designed to undercut the extensive diplomatic proposal offered by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to the separatists, which includes guarantees of broad political representation; an Abkhazian vice president; the right to veto legislation; establishment of a joint free economic zone; and international guarantees of autonomy,” another senator, Joseph Biden said.

“Russia is clearly trying to provoke the Georgians into an over-reaction that will tarnish Georgia's image in the West. To its great credit, Tbilisi has so far chosen the path of restraint and negotiation, as evidenced by Mr Saakashvili’s magnanimous diplomatic initiative,” he added. (Black Sea Press)

Gamkrelidze calls on Rustavi 2 to stop quoting The Washington Post

Davit Gamkrelidze of the United Opposition, a nine-party coalition, called on the television channel Rustavi 2 to stop quoting The Washington Post yesterday.

Gamkrelidze accused the station of broadcasting election polling results by quoting the newspaper since yesterday morning.

In accordance with the law, Georgian media is prohibited from publishing polling results within 48 hours of an election.

“If the company does not stop quoting The Washington Post, we will take up the issue in court,” Gamkrelidze said. (Black Sea Press)