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European Commission Presses Russia on Georgia


The European Commission is calling for Russia to halt its military incursion into Georgia. Tendai Maphosa has the details from London.

The European Commission expressed extreme concern about the fighting in Georgia. Addressing a press briefing in Brussels, Commission spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy called for Russia to halt its military action immediately.

"We consider that that the latest developments such as the crossing of the Georgian borders by Russian troops changed the dimension of he conflict. We therefore call upon Russia to stop immediately all military activity on Georgian territory," she said.

Nagy reiterated support for diplomatic efforts for an agreement to end hostilities that would respect Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The European Commission also announced the release of nearly $1.5 million in what it described as fast-track aid to help cover the urgent humanitarian needs of thousands of civilians affected by the fighting.

European Commission spokesman John Clancy told VOA the fighting has displaced at least 30,000 civilians and the number is likely to increase. He said more money for humanitarian assistance would be made available if needed.

"We are providing through this funding of one million euros in areas such as basic emergency shelter tents, for example, or food or water and sanitation, all these issues need to be dealt with when you have populations on the move," he said.

Clancy called for the parties involved in the fighting to respect humanitarian law and to provide safe passage to civilians fleeing from the fighting.

Georgian forces moved against the breakaway province of South Ossetia last week in an effort to restore control. The move drew a quick Russian military response. Georgia has agreed to a cease-fire and accuses the Russians of continuing to attack Georgian territory.


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