Bush tells Russia not to endorse separatists
President George W. Bush says Russia's president should not recognize two breakaway regions of Georgia as independent countries, despite pleas from Russian lawmakers.
Bush criticized Russia's parliament, which voted Monday to urge the Kremlin to recognize the independence of the two separatist Georgian regions. The White House says those two regions -- South Ossetia and Abkhazia -- remain part of Georgian domain.
Bush said Russia's leadership should "not recognize these separatist regions." He said Georgia's borders merit the same respect as other countries', including Russia's.
White House official Tony Fratto has also commented on Russia's resistance to take away its froces from Georgian territories. Fratto accused Russia of ignoring French-brokered 6-point ceasefire agreement.
Tere's no question that Russia hasn't lived up to the cease-fire agreement. You know, there are six points in that agreement, and we still see large numbers of Russian troops in undisputed territory. We still see them maintaining checkpoints. We still see the activity in Poti. So there's no question that Russia remains in violation of that agreement.
We continue to encourage them to live up to the commitment that their President made that they would fully withdraw and live up to the agreement. At the same time, we're trying to move in the OSCE monitors and try to get up to a substantial number; our goal is to get a hundred monitors in the region. That's the international mechanism that we talked about that's part of the agreement. We want to make sure that gets in place, and that all Russian troops can pull back to where they were on August 6th. So the answer to the question is, yes, we're still concerned that Russia still remains in places where they should not be.''