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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-08-26

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Russia Exhibits Firmness
  • [02] Vaios Stathopoulos Passes away
  • [03] Sudanese Boeing Highjacked
  • [04] North Korea: Nuclear Palinode

  • [01] The West Reacts

    Russia Exhibits Firmness

    26 2008 21:02:00 (Last updated: 26 2008 22:54:50)

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA-- 105.8

    The wrangling between Russia and the West is escalating following Russias decision to officially recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia. After signing the relevant decrees on Tuesday, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told the English-speaking Russian TV network Russia Today that Russia fears not a Cold War and does not strive for one. He also accused Washington directly of sending arms to Georgia, adding that all depends on from our partners, the world community and partners in the West. Furthermore, he said that if the West wishes to preserve its good neighbourly relations with Russia then it will understand Russias decision. He also called other countries to follow Russias example, adding that Russia fully observed the French Presidencys peace plan.

    Using Kosovo Issue as Pair of Compasses

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in a statement broadcast from his summer residence in the resort of Sochi, accused Saakashvili of choosing "genocide" to solve his political problems.

    "The peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have more than once spoken in referenda supporting the independence of their republics. We understand that after what had happened ... they have the right to decide their fate themselves.

    He also reported that Russia did what other countries did in the Kosovo issue and other problems.

    In parallel, prior to Medvedevs announcement, Russias envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, compared the position to the eve of World War One, saying a new freeze in relations was inevitable. "The current atmosphere reminds me of the situation in Europe in 1914 ... when, because of one terrorist, leading world powers clashed," Rogozin told the RBK Daily business newspaper. He announced at a press conference later that Russia planned to halt visits by senior NATO officials and joint military exercises with the alliance.

    At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov said he did not think that the move would spell international isolation for his country. He suggested that Western countries need Russia too much for them to be able to afford cutting off links entirely, and effectively told the West to choose between Russia and Georgia. "National interests and considerations are much more important than saving the face of someone who has discredited himself," said Mr Lavrov. He added that the Russian side had made it quite clear to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the ceasefire agreement, that the status of the two regions would be up for negotiation, and claimed that the French leader "endorsed" this. The recognition was "absolutely unavoidable... legally, historically, and morally," said Mr Lavrov, who has previously said that the world can "forget about" Georgian sovereignty over the two territories.

    West and Georgia's Reaction

    US President George Bush warned his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, that his "irresponsible decision" was exacerbating tensions in the region.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Russias recognition of the rebel regions was "absolutely unacceptable" and Britain "categorically rejected" the decision.

    EU president France said the bloc wanted a political solution. "It (the EU) will examine the consequences of Russias decision from this point of view," President Nicolas Sarkozys office said in a statement.

    A spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he feared Russias move might complicate Security Council efforts to find a solution to the crisis.

    Meanwhile, the Georgian government has asked the UN to take initiatives to secure humanitarian aid to Georgia.

    Abkhazia Ready to Cooperate with Russia

    The Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia is prepared to sign a military agreement with Russia, the Abkhaz President told Interfax today. In parallel, the President of South Ossetia stated that his country is ready to receive a Russian military base on its soil.

    Greek Reactions

    In an interview with MEGA TV Channel today, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated that NATO-Russia relations should not be breach.

    PASOK (Socialists) from its side denounced Russias unilateral decision just as it has denounced Kosovos unilateral decision of independence.

    Finally, KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and SYN (Coalition of the Left) described the Wests stance hypocritical.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Read the story on other sources:

    Reuters:Russia recognizes Georgia rebel regions

    Related News:

    Russia Recognizes Ossetia-Abkhazia

    [02] Vaios Stathopoulos Passes away

    26 2008 23:00:00

    Sources: NET,ANA

    Former Deputy Defence Minister Vaios Stathopoulos was found dead in his vessel in Anavyssos port Tuesday evening. Doctors have attributed the ND MPs death to natural causes. As per his friend, who was on board with the deceased, when the former minister felt a brash he tried to provide him with medical aid, but the minister passed away. Defence Minister G. Voulgarakis has expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [03] Sudanese Boeing Highjacked

    26 2008 20:55:00 (Last updated: 26 2008 21:21:32)

    By Katerina Ioannidou

    Sources: NA-PA-AFP-REUTERS

    As per Al Jazeera TV Network a Sudanese passenger jet hijacked shortly after takeoff from Darfur by unknown assailants on Tuesday has landed in Libya. The aircraft was carrying 83 passengers, while the highjacker was one. The Sun Air Boeing 737 took off from Nyala, the largest city in Darfur, at 1340 GMT and was bound for Khartoum, airline officials said. As per journalists, the highjacker wishes to go to France.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [04] North Korea: Nuclear Palinode

    26 2008 19:23:00

    By Nasos Bratsos

    Sources: ANA-Reuters

    North Korea said on Tuesday it will stop disabling its nuclear facilities and consider restoring the Yongbyon reactor that can make material for atomic bombs, accusing the United States of violating a disarmament deal. "We have decided to immediately suspend disabling our nuclear facilities," the Norths KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying. "This measure has been effective on August 14 and related parties have been notified of it," the official said. The United States called the move a step backward and reiterated North Korea must disable its facilities before the isolated country is removed from a terrorism blacklist that restricts investment. "It is a violation of their commitments to the six-party framework. It certainly is in violation of the principle of action for action," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood in Washington.

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