British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday called on the EU and NATO to initiate “hard-headed engagement” with Russia in response to its actions in Georgia.
Speaking in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, he said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had a big responsibility not to start a new Cold War.
“Russia has not reconciled itself to the new map of this new region… We do not want a new Cold War,” Miliband said.
“That means bolstering our allies, rebalancing the energy relationship with Russia, defending the rules of international institutions, and renewing efforts to tackle unresolved conflicts,” he added.
Miliband, however, rejected calls for Russia to be expelled from the G8, but did suggest that the EU and NATO needed to review relations with it.
“We need to raise the costs to Russia for disregarding its responsibility,” he said, adding that there would be a conference call involving the foreign ministers of the G7.
He also reiterated the British government’s support for Ukraine’s application for full NATO membership.
Britain was among many countries to condemn Russia’s recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Miliband earlier called for an international coalition to counter it.
He said Russia had failed to live up to the terms of the ceasefire it signed. Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Medvedev the presence of Russian troops in parts of Georgia was a grave violation of the ceasefire deal. The US said that Moscow was risking its membership in global clubs like the G8.