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Baltics unite with neighbors against Russia

  • 2008-08-28
  • TBT Staff in cooperation with BNS

Latvian Parliamentary Speaker Gundars Daudze hosted seven of his counterparts in a meeting on Georgia (Photo courtesy of Daudze.lv)

JURMALA 's Parliamentary speakers from the Northern Europe, including those from the Baltics, have released a jointstatement condemning Russia'sdecision to recognize the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions ofAbkhazia and South Ossetia.

The announcement came after eight parliamentary speakersfrom the Nordic and Baltic states concluded a highprofile meeting in the Latvian seaside resort town of Jurmalaon Thursday.

"Russia'sdecision violates many resolutions of the UN Security Council asserting Georgia'sterritorial integrity and contravenes the fundamental principles of the OSCE.The speakers of the Nordic and Baltic parliaments are calling on Russiato revoke its decision," the statement said.

The parliamentary speakers note that Russiamust immediately comply with the six-point agreement and ensure thathumanitarian aid can be freely supplied to Georgiaand its infrastructure restored.

The leaders also stressed the importance of parliamentarycooperation with Georgiato help the country build a democratic society.

The comments represent the second major joint statementreleased by the Baltics over Russia'sattack of Georgia.

The first came in the form of a strongly worded jointstatement issued by Polandand the Baltic states shortly after Russian troopsentered the country almost two weeks ago. Heads of state from Polandand the Baltics are now due to renew that statement ahead of a European Councilmeeting on the issue scheduled for next Monday.

The leaders, who are set to meet in the Estonian President'sresidence on Thursday evening, plan to forge a unified stance on Georgia.

"There is an expectation from the Baltic Statesthat the presidents in Brusselswill present a common stance," said Piotr Kownacki, vice-chief of the Polishpresident's chancellery, in a Thursday interview with Polish Radio station ZET.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees recognizingthe independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia onTuesday. The president said he was left with "no choice" following the alleged"genocide" that Georgiainitiated in the region of South Ossetia.

The two breakaway regions unilaterally declared independencefrom Georgia inthe early '90s, but Russiais so far the only country to recognize that declaration.