Day: August 15, 2008

Russia threatens nuclear attack on Poland

The response of General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, to Poland’s signing the missile shield agreement with the United States:

General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack with his forces targeting “the allies of countries having nuclear weapons”.

He told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “By hosting these, Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent certain. It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority.”  (The Telegraph)

Georgia signs cease fire

President Saakashvili says he has signed a ceasefire agreement with Russia – AP says that although there are some concessions to Moscow, the agreement “protects the former Soviet republic’s interests”. But the Georgian President does not see it as a final settlement – “it is not a done deal,” he is reported as saying.

Saakashvili has been assured that President Medvedev will soon sign an identical document.

Secretary Rice said that Russian troops must leave Georgian territory immediately. “With this signature by Georgia, this must take place and take place now.”

Rice also said that the time has come “to begin a discussion of the consequences of what Russia has done. This calls into question what role Russia really plans to play in international politics.”

Russian troops destroying Georgian vessels in Poti

The BBC confirms that Russian troops are in control of Georgia’s port of Poti and are destroying boats and other vessels there. Live shots of the explosions were shown on the BBC’s 14:30 (BST) bulletin (News 24).

The explosions came as President Bush issued another warning to Russia, accusing it of “bullying and intimidation”.

Hoping for McCain

In the Telegraph, former US Permanent Representative to the United Nations John R. Bolton examines the West’s response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia, and puts the choices in terms of the upcoming U.S. presidential election:

In any event, let us have a full general election debate over the implications of Russia’s march through Georgia. Even before this incident, McCain had suggested expelling Russia from the G8; others have proposed blocking Russia’s application to join the World Trade Organisation or imposing economic sanctions as long as Russian troops remain in Georgia. Obama has assiduously avoided specifics in foreign policy – other than withdrawing speedily from Iraq – but that luxury should no longer be available to him. We need to know if Obama’s reprise of George McGovern’s 1972 campaign theme, “Come home, America”, is really what our voters want, or if we remain willing to persevere in difficult circumstances, as McCain has consistently advocated. Querulous Europe should hope, for its own sake, that America makes the latter choice.