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Russian, Georgian Leaders Make No Headway --> Putin (left) with his foreign-policy adviser, Sergei Prikhodko, in St. Petersburg on June 13 (epa) June 14, 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, failed to settle disputes between their countries during talks in St. Petersburg.

Putin called the June 13 discussion "helpful," but Saakashvili was more critical. He said Russia was "annexing" the Georgian breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by propping up the separatist administrations.

Putin said the opinion of the people in the two breakaway territories should be taken into consideration.

Moscow and Tbilisi have been exchanging angry rhetoric for months. Georgia accuses Russia of trying to weaken it as punishment for its attempts to move out of Moscow's orbit and seek membership of NATO and the European Union.


Universal Principles?

President Putin at a Kremlin meeting in April (epa)

PUTIN SPEAKS OUT: During a January press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there is a need for "universal principles" to settle "frozen" conflicts in the CIS. His comments came against the background of impending talks on the future status of Kosovo, which many predict will grant it a form of "conditional independence" from Serbia and Montenegro. As an ally of Serbia, Moscow has consistently opposed the idea of Kosovar independence. Putin's remarks suggest he may be shifting his position, but only if the principles applied to Kosovo are also applied to frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. If Kosovo can be granted full independence, he asked, why should we deny the same to Abkhazia and South Ossetia? (more)


Putin Calls For 'Universal Principles' To Settle Frozen Conflicts

Russia Key To OSCE's Attempts To Resolve Frozen Conflicts

Georgia Pushes For EU Backing In Standoffs With Russia


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