Putin asks EU not to 'serve' US interests

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Moscow, Aug 31 (UNI) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today asked the European Union not to serve the interests of the United States.

''Whatever they might say there - right is on our side,'' Mr Putin told the Russian Vesti news channel today, referring to the Western criticism of Russian action in Georgia and recognition of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Mr Putin's call comes ahead of the emergency meeting of the EU leaders in Brussels on Georgia tomorrow. The 27-nation organisation is expected to discuss future relations with Russia.

A number of member states, including Britain and Poland, have called for sanctions against Moscow, as well as the postponement of talks on a new partnership and cooperation agreement with Russia.

''We are behaving in an absolutely moral way and in the framework of all existing international laws,'' Mr Putin said.

''And so, if any of the European countries wish to serve someone else's foreign interests - go ahead, we cannot insist otherwise,'' he noted.

Mr Putin earlier accused the White House of provoking the conflict in Georgia in order to benefit 'one of' the US presidential candidates.

Washington had denied the accusation.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that NATO and the EU must reassess their relations with the Kremlin to prevent further ''Russian aggression.'' His comments came amid fears that Russia could cut oil and gas flows in the row over Georgia.

Mr Brown, writing in the Observer, urged the EU to do a 'root and branch' review of relations with the Kremlin.

Yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Mr Brown spoke on phone as Russia moved to ease tensions with Europe.


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