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Russian President Blames NATO For Georgia Conflict

Dmitry Medvedev
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- President Dmitry Medvedev has said he did not want disputes with the West to push Russia behind a new Iron Curtain, and blamed NATO for provoking last month's conflict in Georgia.

"We are in effect being pushed down a path that is founded not on fully-fledged, civilized partnership with other countries, but on autonomous development, behind thick walls, behind an Iron Curtain," Medvedev said in an address to a gathering of civil society groups.

"That is not our path. For us there is no sense going back to the past. We have made our choice," he said.

He also said the NATO alliance's role in the Georgia conflict showed it was unable to provide security in Europe, creating a need for a new security mechanism.

"That is understood even by those who in private conversations with me say...'NATO will take care of everything.' What did NATO secure, what did NATO ensure? NATO only provoked the conflict, and not more than that."