News / USA

    Clinton Calls for End of Russian 'Occupation' of Georgia

    Multimedia

    Audio

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for an end to the Russian occupation of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  Clinton's message raises the question of whether U.S. support for Georgia compromises relations with Russia.

    Standing alongside Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Tbilisi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated a call for Russia to end its military presence in two breakaway Georgian regions.

    "We continue to call for Russia to abide by the August 2008 cease-fire commitment signed by President Saakashvili and President Medvedev, including ending the occupation and withdrawing Russian troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their pre-conflict positions," said Clinton.

    Clinton repeatedly pressed the issue during her tour of Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus, which concluded in Georgia.  South Ossetia and Abkhazia are heavily populated by ethnic Russians and have resisted integration with Georgia.  Only a few other nations join Russia in recognizing the two regions as independent.

    President Saakashvili notes that Clinton's use of the word "occupation" is especially meaningful.

    "America was the first one to mention this word, and now the others are following," said Saakashvili.  "President Obama was the first one to call a spade a spade, basically to say it was an invasion.  Because before, as you remember, the term "disproportionate use of force" was used, as if there is a proportionate use to occupy other countries' territory."

    The Georgian issue is a major point of disagreement between the United States and Russia.

    The topic came up during a recent meeting in Washington between U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev.  Both sides said the disagreement would not significantly impede relations.

    Alexander Rondeli, the director of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies welcomed Clinton's use of the term "occupation".  But he added that healthy relations with Russia could be good for everybody.

    "It is absolutely important for Americans to have normal relationship with Russia," said Rondeli.  "It is absolutely important for everyone to have a wealthy and healthy Russia; it means democratic [sic] and also a country which acts according to international norms and rules."

    Rondeli said an important message of Clinton's trip is that it shows the United States has not abandoned Georgia, and will remain an influence in the region.

    Nicolay Petrov is a scholar-in-residence at the Carnegie Moscow Center.  He says there is nothing new in the American position and that he expects a pretty calm reaction from Russia as long as the United States does not turn words into action.

    "What was told in Tbilisi, I think, that as far as it is not connected to any real moves made by the Obama administration it is nothing serious for the Kremlin," said Tbilisi.

    Tbilisi says Moscow maintains a position that it has the right to first agree to any action another country wants to take in former-Soviet states such as Georgia.

    In addition to Georgia, Clinton also visited Ukraine, Poland, Azerbaijan and Armenia.  She is returning to Washington to take part in a meeting Tuesday at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora