Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Bush makes a strong statement
Speaking at 11am (EDT) in the Rose Garden, President Bush said he was skeptical that Moscow was honouring a cease fire - the US was concerned about reports of continuing Russian military actions in Georgia. Russia must cease all military activity, and bring the military conflict to an end. He said that the United States expects all Russian forces to withdraw from Georgia and that Moscow must honour the truce after its destructive attacks against Georgia. The President also said that the US will use its own military aircraft and naval forces to deliver humanitarian aid to the region. The humanitarian effort is already in progress, and an initial C-17 cargo plane is on its way to Tbilisi - the US expects that Russia will allow it to enter Georgian airspace. "All lines of communication and transport, including seaports, roads and airports" must remain open. If such conditions are not met, Russia will continue to put its relations with international institutions at risk. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris before travelling to Tbilisi to express the United States' "unwavering support" for Georgia and its government.