Russia Under Pressure, Has Little World Support

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev i i

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev delivers a televised statement to the nation from Sochi on Tuesday. Medvedev announced he had signed a decree under which Russia formally recognizes the rebel Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. Vladimir Rodionov/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Vladimir Rodionov/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev delivers a televised statement to the nation from Sochi on Tuesday. Medvedev announced he had signed a decree under which Russia formally recognizes the rebel Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

Vladimir Rodionov/AFP/Getty Images

Russia is facing international isolation over this month's attacks in Georgia.

The EU is considering possible sanctions against Moscow, and today Russia failed to enlist the support it wanted from China and a group of former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization took place in Tajikistan, where Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Georgian aggression was unacceptable and had to be stopped.

"Under these extreme conditions," Medvedev said, "we will continue our predictable and responsible policy in the region."

Russia's international television channel Russia Today reported that Moscow got what it was seeking from fellow summit members, which also include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

In fact, Russia's sometime-allies failed to back the Kremlin. No other country has recognized the independent Georgian breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Moscow recognized on Monday. Today's final statement from the Shanghai group expressed grave concern over the conflict and urged all sides to solve the standoff through dialogue.

In Paris on Thursday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that EU leaders preparing for an emergency summit on Monday are considering sanctions and "other measures" to put pressure on Moscow to honor its cease-fire agreement with Tbilisi.

There was a sharp response from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said talk of sanctions was the product of a "sick" and "confused" imagination.

In Georgia, tensions are mounting over the presence of American warships delivering aid to the Black Sea port of Batumi. Moscow has accused NATO of "battleship diplomacy" and sent its own warships to the area.

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