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Russia Criticizes EU Decision to Suspend 'Partnership' Talks


Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says his country will not agree to any contacts with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Mr. Medvedev told Italian television interviewers his country considers the Georgian leader a political corpse. He was replying to a question on whether his country would discuss a settlement in Georgia at an international conference

The Russian leader also criticized American policy in Georgia, accusing the United States of helping orchestrate the recent conflict there, a charge U.S. diplomats have denied.

Earlier, Russia criticized the European Union's decision to suspend partnership talks with Moscow over the conflict. But Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko praised the majority of EU countries for deciding Monday not to impose other immediate penalties on Moscow for its Georgian offensive.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tuesday formally informed Russia of its decision to cut diplomatic relations between the two countries.

In Washington, a White House spokeswoman says the United States is wrapping up its review of ties with Russia over the conflict.

In a related development U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is on his way to the region, stopping first in Azerbaijan, then Georgia and Ukraine, demonstrating U.S. support for the former Soviet republics on Russia's southern border.

Georgian troops went into South Ossetia on August seventh to try to retake control of Georgia's breakaway region. Russia sent tanks and thousands of troops into Georgia, saying it had to protect Russian citizens there.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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