|Austria condemns Russian move, urges international mediation|
|August 27, 2008|
Austria condemned Russia's decision to recognise the Georgian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia Tuesday, calling for a dialogue to end the crisis rather than further provocation.
"This step goes against all the principles of Georgian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, which Russia has repeatedly accepted in the UN Security Council," Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said in a statement.
"The Georgian conflict must be solved through dialogue and international mediation, not through unilateral measures," she added.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier Tuesday he had signed a decree under which Russia formally recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, prompting widespread condemnation from European capitals.
"The Russian declaration in no way alters our position: Austria and the EU will continue to defend Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty over its entire land," said Plassnik.
She added, however, that the European Union was "ready to make a constructive contribution.
"We want to work towards a solution to this situation, not seek further division," she noted.
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