Rice to make 'significant' speech on Russia


17 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will give "a significant speech" on Thursday about the consequences for Russia over its invasion of Georgia, a senior US official said.

"I would describe it as a significant speech about US-Russia relations as well as about Russia's place within the international system," the State Department official told reporters Wednesday on the condition of anonymity.

The speech will provide "an analysis of how we have gotten to this point, it talks about the kinds of choices Russia had before it and it talks about the international system and its response to Russia," he said.

The official was referring to choices Russia had before it invaded neighboring Georgia on August 7 and recognized the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

When asked if the speech would mention future possible measures or would be limited to the current responses of the international community, the official replied by saying "future possible" measures.

Since mid-August, Rice has hinted at retaliatory steps for Moscow's "disproportionate" military action against Georgia.

Several US officials have since raised the possibility of suspending negotiations for admitting Russia to the World Trade Organization.

They have even talked of excluding it from the Group of Eight leading industrial nations and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.