View Full Version : Putin Tells Europe: Don't Serve U.S. Interests

08-30-2008, 09:59 AM
Putin tells Europe: don't serve U.S. interests


Source: Reuters
29 Aug 2008 18:45:11 GMT

MOSCOW, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned European states against serving the foreign policy interests of the United States as he sought to deflect Western criticism of Russia's policy in Georgia.

The West is debating how to put pressure on Moscow, which supplies a quarter of the European Union's gas needs, after it recognised two breakaway regions in Georgia.

"If European states want to serve the foreign policy interests of the USA, then, in my opinion, they will gain nothing from this," Putin said in an interview with German television station ARD that was shown on Russian television.

"A country -- in the current case Russia -- which can stand up for the honour and dignity of its citizens, defend their lives... will not be isolated, despite the bloc-like thinking of our partners in Europe or in the United States."

"The world doesn't end with Europe or the United States," said Putin, who stepped down as president in May after eight years as the Kremlin chief. He was shown speaking in Russian in the interview, which was aired on Friday.

Putin said Russia had acted fully in accordance with international law in defending South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region which was attacked by Georgian forces on Aug 7-8, sparking an international crisis.

Russia launched a huge military operation, repelling Georgian troops and then pushing deep inside Georgia.

Putin said Russia did not want tense relations with anyone but wanted international law applied properly and evenly.

"We want good, neighbourly, partner-like relations with everyone. We do not intend to play by some special rules of our own: we want everyone to work according to one set of rules, known as international law," Putin said.