TODAY: Medvedev seeks eastern support over Georgia; seven of G8 members issue strong condemnation of Russia’s actions in Georgia; extraordinary EU summit to be held next week. Russia warns Turkey over US ships, hints at “direct confrontation”. Russia fears being surrounded by Nato, says Rogozin. Interview with former KGB agent. Amid reports that Russia is looking to the east for support on its actions in Georgia, President Dmitry Medvedev will this week take part in a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and will hold bilateral talks with the president of Tajikistan. It is thought that the European Union will issue a condemnation of Russia’s recognition of independence for South Ossetia and Abkhazia at an extraordinary summit to be held in Brussels next week, after seven of the world’s leading G8 industrialized nations condemned Russia’s decision, saying they “deplored” the “excessive use of military force”. Russia’s opposition party, the United Civil Front, has joined the critical voices.
Despite reports that President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would respond militarily to the deployment of US missiles close to its borders in Poland, a Chinese news source quotes one Russian ambassador as having insisted that Poland “has nothing to fear”. Russia says it warned Turkey about allowing US warships into the Black Sea, and will hold it responsible if the ships don’t return within three weeks. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has given warning about “direct confrontation” between US and Russian ships now stationed there. Reports suggest that violence is still raging in Georgia. “Any nation could be next,” says Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s “blustery” Ambassador to Nato, says that the west has not fully grasped how the Georgia conflict has heightened Russians’ fears about being surrounded by Nato. Russian commanders say they are increasingly alarmed at the number of Nato ships sailing into the Black Sea.Read a Moscow Times interview with former KGB agent Oleg Nechiporenko.PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shakes hands with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Dushanbe, on August 27. Medvedev Hu joined Central Asian leaders Thursday in the Tajik capital for a summit overshadowed by Moscow’s stand-off with the West. (AFP/Pool/Mikhail Klimentyev)