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The News Line: Editorial Russia’s response to the EU’s Georgia threats THE Russian government said yesterday there had been a ‘responsible’ outcome to Monday’s European Union summit called to discuss the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia. It regretted the EU’s condemnation of Russia’s actions as ‘disproportionate’.

The EU agreed to suspend talks on a strategic pact with Russia until troops are withdrawn to pre-August 7 positions and to send several hundred civilian monitors to check on the ceasefire agreement between Russia and Georgia. The EU summit also agreed to condemn Russia’s move to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

At the same time, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev outlined his government’s foreign policy on Monday saying that Russia would ‘observe the fundamental principles of international law’.

He added that Russia would not accept that one country, like the US, could seek global domination, it would defend its citizens everywhere and it has special interests near its borders.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed ‘regret’ over the suspension of the EU partnership talks, but said that ‘Moscow, over the past two years, has got used to artificial obstacles to this document’.

It added: ‘There were calls from states to impose sanctions on Russia and freeze relations. The main thing, however, is they are in a minority and the majority of EU countries have manifested a responsible approach.’

After the summit, EU Commission President Manuel Barroso said the EU could not ‘continue as if nothing had happened’.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who holds the EU Presidency, said that although relations between Russia and the EU had reached a crossroads, ‘the EU would welcome a real partnership with Russia, which is in the interests of all, but you have to be two to have a partnership’.

As the leaders of the bankers’ and monopolists’ EU and the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy exchanged diplomatic brick bats, neither side spoke about the real issues behind the conflict.

Russia has huge oil and natural gas reserves vital for the EU economy. The EU/NATO imperialist military alliance wants to destroy the workers’ state in the Russian Federation, restore capitalism and control the oil, gas and other raw materials.

Differences between EU leaders are tactical. At present Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel want ‘a real partnership’ with Medvedev and company to secure gas supplies.

The defence mounted against the imperialists by the Russian Stalinist bureaucracy is limited and inadequate, military operations like that in Georgia, on the one hand, and a recourse to ‘international law’.

The Stalinist bureaucracy, which works hand-in-glove with the capitalist oligarchs at home and is engaged in attacking the working class, is completely opposed to appealing to the international working class to defend Russia. In the final analysis it is a counter-revolutionary agency of imperialism within the degenerated workers’ state.

In contrast, the response of the working class in its fight against imperialism and to defend the gains of the October Revolution demonstrates that it has no confidence in the Stalinist bureaucracy and its diplomacy.

While Medvedev and company were welcoming the ‘responsible’ response of the EU to Russia, workers in the Crimean city of Sevastapol were seeing off the US ship Dallas, which had just delivered its cargo to Georgia. Thousands of protesters shouted: ‘Yankees go home!’ and ‘NATO stop!’

This is a pointer to the strategy European workers need to defend the Russian Federation and defeat EU/NATO conspiracies.

The EU government leaders that are lining up to attack Russia are the same people who are insisting on ‘market reforms’ to privatise state assets, education, healthcare and welfare, which are having a devastating impact on the lives of working-class families across the continent.

To defend their interests European workers have to get rid of the imperialist governments that dominate the EU and replace them with workers’ governments, that will disband the EU and NATO, defend the Russian Federation and go forward to a United Socialist States of Europe.
 
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