Putin blasts Europe for following US foreign policies

August 30th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 30 (RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned European countries against toeing the US foreign policy ahead of a European Union (EU) emergency summit meeting Monday on the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia.Russia officially recognised the Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia Tuesday, saying the move was needed to protect the region following Georgia’s military offensive Aug 8.

Western countries condemned the move as an “irresponsible decision”.

“If European countries continue carrying out such policies, we will have to talk to Washington about European matters,” Putin said in an interview with Germany’s ARD television Friday.

The Russian premier said Europe backed the US and supported Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February, while a UN resolution on Serbia’s territorial integrity was “thrown in the garbage”.

Russia, Serbia’s long-time ally and a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, refused to recognise Kosovo’s autonomy saying that it would cause a “chain reaction”.

Justifying Russia’s actions in South Ossetia, Putin said Moscow had defended the lives of its citizens. If forced to “choose between life and sausage, we choose life”, he said.

The former Russian president stressed that Russia did not fear Western sanctions: “Such a country will not be in isolation,” he said in an excerpts shown on state-run Russian television.

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