Polish President Lech Kaczynski has urged the European Union to stand up to Russia and insist that it fully comply with the cease-fire agreement which ended a brief war in Georgia.
In an open letter Thursday to the president of the European Commission, Jose Barroso, Mr. Kaczynski said Russia is without doubt a very important neighbor of the EU.
But he added that the grouping has the right to expect that Moscow, which benefits greatly from intensive relations with EU, respect the values the Union is based on.
Russia invaded Georgia in August when Tbilisi tried to retake the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia by force. The EU has urged Moscow to withdraw all its troops to positions prior to the August war.
The Polish leader noted that Russian troops remain not only in the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but also in several territories under Georgia's control.
Last Sunday, Mr. Kaczynski and his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, came under fire near Georgia's border with South Ossetia.
No one was hurt as the convoy approached a Russian military checkpoint on the border.
Mr. Saakashvili blamed the shooting on Russia. Mr. Kaczynski said the shots came about 30 meters from the car and that he heard Russian being shouted as the shots rang out. He added the shooting proves the cease-fire in Georgia is not working.
Russian and South Ossetian officials denied any shots were fired.
Some information for this report was provided by PAP and Reuters.