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Rice Warns of Deepening Russian Isolation བོད་སྐད།


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Russia is "deepening its isolation" by failing to abide by the conditions of a cease-fire agreement with Georgia.

Rice told reporters in Lisbon Friday that Russia will have "no way out" unless it changes its behavior toward the former Soviet state.

The United States has repeatedly criticized Russia for maintaining forces in the security zone outside Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow says its troops are carrying out necessary peacekeeping duties.

In Ukraine, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said Russia's actions cast grave doubts on its intentions and reliability as an international partner. Cheney is in Ukraine on the last stop of a regional tour aimed at showing support for U.S. allies. He reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine's bid to join the NATO military alliance, just one day after backing Georgia's NATO bid in Tbilisi.

Russia today accused Cheney of fueling Georgian aggression.

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Cheney's comments will only embolden Georgia's dangerous ambitions. He also criticized the U.S. for using military vessels to deliver humanitarian supplies to Georgia.

He spoke as the flagship of the U.S. Navy's Mediterranean fleet the USS Mount Whitney arrived in the Georgian port of Poti with supplies for the relief effort.

Also today, European Union ministers opened a two-day meeting in the southern French city of Avignon to discuss sending international observers to Georgia.

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