- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 26, 2008

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is calling Russia’s recognition of breakaway Georgian territories “regrettable.”

At a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Rice said that Russia’s formal recognition of the territories at the heart of its war with Georgia “puts Russia in opposition to the Security Council resolution to which it is a party.”

“I think it is regrettable,” Rice said, adding, “Since the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council, this simply will be dead on arrival in the Security Council.”

President Bush had appealed to Russia’s president to ignore the advice of lawmakers and refrain from recognizing Georgia’s breakaway regions as independent.

But Russia formally recognized the breakaway Georgian territories at the heart of its war with Georgia on Tuesday, heightening tensions with the West as the United States dispatched military ships bearing aid to a port city still controlled by Russian troops.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Georgia forced Russia’s hand by launching an attack targeting South Ossetia on Aug. 7 in an apparent bid to seize control of the breakaway region.

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