Russia seeks meeting with NATO over South Ossetia

August 12th, 2008 - 12:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Aug 12 (Xinhua) Russia is going to call for an extraordinary meeting with NATO so that the alliance can be informed of Moscow’s activities in South Ossetia, says Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin. “We insist it happen tomorrow (Tuesday) when NATO ambassadors are going to meet Georgian minister of foreign affairs,” Rogozin said late Monday.

Russia wants NATO to take into account the information given by Moscow before the alliance makes any decisions or statements, he said, adding that the meeting should be at the level of ambassadors.

Rogozin said about 2,500 civilians have been killed so far and 18 Russian peacekeepers have lost their lives, with 14 reported missing.

He said 35,000 people have fled South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia, and between 9,000 and 16,000 people in the regional capital Tskhinvali were in a desperate situation and need immediate assistance.

Rogozin said Russia has set up a refugee camp that can accommodate 2,500 people on the border between South Ossetia and Russia’s North Ossetia and delivered 340 tonnes of medical supplies and food.

He reiterated that there would not be talks between Russia and Georgia until Georgian forces pull out of the conflict region and Georgia signs an agreement that it will not use force in South Ossetia.

Rogozin warned NATO against any involvement in the conflict. “If (there is) NATO intervention in the zone of conflict, then the relations of Russia (with NATO) will be different, not a partner one,” he said.

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