Russia calls for arms embargo on Georgia

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Moscow, Sep 1 (UNI) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today called for an embargo on arms supplies to Georgia until a change of leadership took place in the former Soviet republic.

''It would be appropriate to impose an embargo on arms supplies on that regime until different leaders have turned Georgia into a normal country,'' Russian news agency RIA quoted Mr Lavrov as saying.

''To guarantee the region is protected against new outbreaks of violence, Russia will continue to take measures to make sure that the (Mikheil Saakashvili) regime is unable to commit evil deeds ever again,'' he said.

Mr Lavrov's remarks came as European Union leaders were due to gather today for an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the Georgia crisis and review relations with Moscow.

The Foreign Minister said Moscow hoped the EU will make the right choice at its summit.

''The European Union summit will clarify a lot. We hope the choice will be made based on Europe's fundamental interests,'' he said.

A number of EU states, including Britain and Poland, have called for sanctions against Moscow and the postponement of talks on a new partnership pact with Russia over what they called its disproportionate use of force against Georgia.

Mr Lavrov also made it clear that Russia would not yield to pressure. ''Russia has returned to the world scene as a responsible state which is capable of defending its citizens,'' he said.

He also said Russia would maintain dialogue with the United States as long as there was even the slightest chance of reaching an understanding of each other's positions.

Mr Lavrov's comments followed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's announcement of five principles of Russia's foreign policy yesterday.

President Medvedev had declared Russia would no longer accept a situation whereby a single country, like the US, sought global domination.


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