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Russia defiant ahead of EU summit

Latest update : 2008-09-01

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said there was "no turning back" on the country's position concerning breakaway South Ossetia and Abhkazia, adding that Moscow was ready to retaliate if the EU opted for sanctions at a summit on Monday.


President Dmitry Medvedev warned Sunday that Russia was ready to retaliate against sanctions, on the eve of an EU summit called to address the conflict in Georgia.
  
In an interview to Russian television, Medvedev said he considered sanctions to be a last resort and argued that such measures need to be encoded in law.
  
"If needed, we also can adopt such special laws," he said.
  
The president spoke on the eve of a European Union summit that is to decide on a response to Russia's military surge in Georgia this month and decision to recognise two Georgian separatist regions as independent states.
  
Medvedev served notice that he would not reverse his decision to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia, despite such calls from the United States.
  
"I have taken this decision and there is no turning back," he said.
  
Russian troops entered Georgia on August 8 to push back a Georgian offensive to retake the rebel enclave of South Ossetia, which broke away from Tbilisi in the 1990s with Moscow's backing.
  
Russian troops continue to hold positions in western Georgia, serving in what Moscow describes as a peacekeeping mission. Tbilisi has labelled them an occupation force.

Date created : 2008-08-31

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