Be responsible, Moscow tells Washington

MOSCOW  - Russia on Thursday warned the United States against encouraging Georgia's leaders to take steps that might lead to a repeat of the "tragic scenario" of recent days. "We expect the United States to adopt a responsible approach," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "It is especially important to refrain from any steps that could directly or indirectly be taken by the Georgian leadership as encouragement of its revanchist ambitions and prompt a repeat of the tragic scenario," it added. The Ministry was also sharply critical of US support for Georgia. "Responsibility for these events also lies with those who, for the sake of their political projects, over many years armed and instructed Georgia's army and instilled in the Tbilisi regime a sense of permissiveness and impunity," the statement read. It referred directly to comments by US President George W Bush on Wednesday that heavily criticised Russia. It welcomed Bush's support for a French-brokered peace plan in Georgia and also a US offer to send aid to the region, stressing however that Georgia was to blame for the "humanitarian tragedy" in the region. "It is a pity, however, that the American side steadfastly refuses to recognise the real reason for what happened," the statement said. "That the regime of Mikheil Saakashvili, in violation of all of its international obligations, launched a war against the South Ossetian people."

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