Russian MP: ‘NATO Should Cooperate Or Risk Disruption’
PRAGUE, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) — NATO should cooperate with Russia on the issue of Georgia, otherwise it might be defeated in Afghanistan because Russia would make it difficult or impossible for NATO to supply the allied troops, Semyon Bagdasarov, member ofthe Russian State Duma, told Czech Television (CT) on Sunday.
Bagdasarov, member of the pro-government Fair Russia party, indicated that Moscow might disconnect crucial transport routes going over Russian territory by which the alliance transport its rotating troops and supplies for them.
NATO needed Russia more than Russia needed NATO, he said, adding that NATO’s Afghan allies were behind the production of up to 80 percent drugs that get to Europe via Russia.
Russia agreed only in the spring that NATO transport its supplies and soldiers over its territory, according to Czech media.
Georgia, a former Soviet republic, has long been at odds with Russia over its two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as its own bids to join NATO and the European Union.
Earlier this month, Georgia sent in troops to reclaim South Ossetia, its breakaway region, triggering a military counter-offensive by Russia. The conflict ended with a cease-fire agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow brokered by France.
However, tensions between the two nations were heightened as Russia recognized the self-proclaimed independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region of Georgia, last Tuesday.