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Moscow backed by CSTO over Russian-Georgian conflict
6/9/2008 10:57

Leaders of the members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) condemned Georgia over its actions in South Ossetia and backed Moscow's role in the recent conflict, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday.

"Our partners in the organization have made an unequivocally negative assessment of Georgia's actions, Georgia's aggression in South Ossetia, and supported Russia's active role, highlighting the need to ensure lasting security in South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Medvedev said at a press conference after the CSTO summit in Moscow.

The CSTO member states "are deeply concerned by Georgia's attempt to resolve the conflict in South Ossetia through the use of force," which led to "numerous casualties among noncombatants and peacekeepers," he was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency assaying.

On the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian president said the CSTO countries will make their own decisions in line with the basis of international law, but they will also be guided by national interests.

Georgia sent in troops to reclaim its breakaway region of South Ossetia on Aug. 8, triggering a military counter-offensive by Russia. The conflict ended with a ceasefire agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow brokered by France.

Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the other breakaway region of Georgia, as independent states last week further strained its relations with the former Soviet republic.

The CSTO is a security grouping comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The next CSTO summit will be held in Moscow in the second quarter of 2009.