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Former Soviet States Rally Around Georgia at UN

yushenko092508.jpgIn case anybody forgot what the Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltics think about the Russian invasion of Georgia, there was a strong reminder this week at the UNGA:

Victor A. Yushchenko, the president of Ukraine, told the General Assembly that his country condemned Russia’s action and he hinted that Ukraine would not succumb to Russian intimidation over its ambition to join NATO. “It is essential to turn down blackmailing and threatening vocabulary,” Mr. Yushchenko said. He said Ukraine opposed all acts of aggression in the region, as well as Russia’s recognition of independence for the two separatist Georgian enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The “renewal of the rhetoric of the cold war provokes our deep concern,” Mr. Yushchenko said.

President Lech Kaczynski of Poland, who called Russia “our big neighbor,” urged the United Nations not to allow “some countries” to interpret international law on their own. In another allusion to Russia, Mr. Kaczynski suggested that Europe find other energy sources because “certain states use energy supplies in order to achieve political goals.”And President Valdis Zatlers of Latvia, without naming Russia, said he hoped the United Nations would not accept any nations’ using large-scale force on another country with the excuse of protecting people with the same ethnicity. Latvia fears it is a potential target of Russian intervention because nearly a third of its population is ethnically Russian. Russia said it had sent troops into Georgia to protect Russians living there.Mr. Zatlers was among many regional leaders who also called for an aggressive European monitoring mission in Georgia.While the heads of state were addressing their concerns to the General Assembly, Ms. Rice was meeting with a number of her diplomatic counterparts. She urged European foreign ministers to maintain a unified front to roll back the Kremlin’s military intervention into Georgia, and she told the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, that Moscow “had created grave difficulties for itself,” a senior American official said after the sessions.