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Cheney Visits Georgia With $1 Billion In Aid

发布者: chrislau2001 | 发布时间: 2008-9-4 16:41| 查看数: 1704| 评论数: 1|

Bearing a $1 billion U.S. aid package,Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday arrives in Georgia to fortify the war-rattled government of President Mikheil Saakashvili, a leader Moscow this week declared a 'political corpse' headed for the exit.

Mr. Saakashvili's future is the focus of a tense battle of wills between Washington and Moscow, and its outcome will shape a broader struggle for influence in the Caucasus and beyond.

Mr. Cheney's visit to Tbilisi signals Washington's support for an American-educated lawyer who on Tuesday was pronounced politically dead by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

'For us, he does not exist,' said Mr. Medvedev, who indicated that any rapprochement with Georgia is impossible so long as Mr. Saakashvili is in office.

Mr. Saakashvili, for his part, dismissed the death notice as premature and said he has 'an obligation' to serve out his second term, which ends in 2013.

In an effort to shore up Mr. Saakashvili's government, the Bush administration on Wednesday announced the aid package, which includes as much as $570 million that will be made available immediately for supporting the Georgian government's budget, rebuilding damaged roads and other infrastructure, and investing in private-sector projects. The administration also is proposing special trade benefits for Georgia, and will ensure marine insurance is available for war risk if the private market dries up.

Mr. Cheney, a longtime and robust critic of Moscow, is the most senior U.S. official to visit Tbilisi since a brief war last month that saw Russian troops push deep into Georgia. Most of these have now pulled back but some remain, in defiance of a cease-fire accord negotiated by France.

In his first stop in the Caucasus region, Mr. Cheney met in Azerbaijan Wednesday evening with President Ilham Aliyev. Mr. Cheney stressed U.S. interests in the region, particularly an energy pipeline corridor that the U.S. has encouraged between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey as a way to loosen neighboring Russia's grip on the region's energy resources.

In a joint appearance before dinner, the vice president took a few verbal shots at Russia's leaders, saying the principle of respect for national borders 'is endangered today,' noting 'the shadow of the recent Russian invasion of Georgia.' Russian recently recognized two separatist regions of Georgia as independent states, a move that effectively redraws Georgia's frontiers.

Russia's growing assertiveness had made it 'increasingly urgent,' said Mr. Cheney, to diversify energy sources and supply lines -- for instance, by building new pipelines from the Caspian basin to Europe. Russian warplanes dropped bombs near the main non-Russian pipeline from the Caspian, which passes from Baku to Turkey through Georgia. The Georgian portion is operated by BP PLC and is the country's largest foreign investment.

Mr. Aliyev, the Azeri president, avoided any direct criticism of Russia, which has been courting Azerbaijan and is eager to get more of that country's oil pumped through pipelines run by Russia. Still, Mr. Aliyev spoke optimistically about the outlook for future cooperation with the U.S. and Europe over energy transmission.

Prospects for new Western-sponsored lines such as the proposed Nabucco pipeline have been clouded by the Russian military moves in Georgia.

Mr. Aliyev suggested that the U.S. and its partners will have to be more mindful of the region's security needs if it wants to expand the Azerbaijan-Georgia corridor. In security matters, however, Russia holds the upper hand. It trounced Georgia's military, which had received training from U.S. and Israeli advisers.

Mr. Saakashvili said Georgia lost 60 tanks, though only five of these were lost in battle. The rest, he said, were seized or disabled by Russian forces when they raided a Georgian military base in the town of Gori.

In Tbilisi, Mr. Cheney will discuss possible additional U.S. and Western aid to help Georgia rebuild and strengthen its military. Mr. Saakashvili said his country needed mainly training and had so far received no new weapons from the West.

Georgia's military, said Mr. Saakashvili, needs to rethink its mission and will look to the West for help. 'We need much more training than we had. We trained as a counter-insurgency force, not to contain 80,000 Russian troops and 3,000 Russian tanks.'

Russia, said Mr. Saakashvili, is determined to unseat his government. 'They hate the idea that I'm still sitting in this office,' he said.

John D. McKinnon / Andrew Higgins

[ 本帖最后由 chrislau2001 于 2008-9-4 16:54 编辑 ]

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chrislau2001 发表于 2008-9-4 16:50:07

切尼携10亿美元援助访问格鲁吉亚



国副总统切尼(Dick Cheney)周四怀揣10亿美元援助飞赴格鲁吉亚进行访问,以显示对格鲁吉亚总统萨卡什维利(Mikheil Saakashvili)政府的支持。莫斯科本周表示,不会承认萨卡什维利,并将其称为“政治僵尸”。

萨卡什维利的未来是美俄两国角力的核心问题,这场争斗的结果将确定两大国在高加索及周边地区的广泛势力划分格局。



Reuters

美海军指挥舰“惠特尼山”号满载运往

格鲁吉亚的人道主义救援物资



切尼访问第比利斯是华盛顿力挺萨卡什维利的信号,萨卡什维利从政前是一名曾在美国接受教育的律师。俄罗斯总统梅德韦杰夫(Dmitry Medvedev)周二宣布,萨卡什维利的政治生命已经终结。

梅德韦杰夫说,对我们来说,萨卡什维利并不存在。他表示,只要萨卡什维利当政,俄罗斯就不会与格鲁吉亚打交道。

萨卡什维利对俄罗斯的威胁嗤之以鼻;他表示,自己有义务完成直至2013年的第二个总统任期。

为了支持萨卡什维利政府,布什支持周三宣布将向格鲁吉亚提供总计10亿美元的援助,其中包括至多5.7亿美元的先期援助,用于支援格鲁吉亚政府预算、重建受损道路和其他基础设施及投资私营项目等。布什政府还提议给予格鲁吉亚贸易特惠待遇,并确保如果该国私人市场衰竭的话,向格鲁吉亚确保应对战争风险的海上保险。

自格鲁吉亚与俄罗斯上个月爆发短暂战争后,切尼是访问第比利斯最高级别的美国官员;长期以来,切尼一直是对俄关系的强硬派。在上月的冲突中,俄罗斯军队深入推进到格鲁吉亚境内,虽然目前俄罗斯已经撤回了大部分部队,但仍违背法国调停的停火协议,在格境内留驻了部分军队。

作为出访高加索地区的第一站,切尼周三晚间会见了阿塞拜疆总统阿利耶夫(Ilham Aliyev)。切尼强调了美国在该地区的利益,尤其穿越阿塞拜疆、格鲁吉亚和土耳其三国的一条能源管道。为了削弱俄罗斯对该地区能源资源的控制,美国曾大力支持修建该管道。



Associated Press

切尼与阿塞拜疆总统阿利耶夫会面



在晚宴前,切尼和阿利耶夫共同在媒体面前亮相。切尼对俄罗斯领导人提出了批评,他表示,“近期俄罗斯侵入格鲁吉亚的阴影”威胁到了尊重国家主权的原则。俄罗斯近期承认格鲁吉亚两个分离地区为独立国家,实际上重划了格鲁吉亚国境。

切尼表示,鉴于俄罗斯日益增长的自负,推动该地区能源资源和供应线路多样化的工作已经越来越紧迫──例如修建从里海盆地到欧洲的新能源管道。在上个月的战争中,该地区主要非俄罗斯的能源管道(从里海地区巴库途径格鲁吉亚直至土耳其)附近遭到了俄罗斯战 的轰炸。该能源管道格鲁吉亚部分是由英国石油公司(BP PLC)运营的,这是格鲁吉亚最大的外来投资。

阿塞拜疆总统阿利耶夫回避了直接批评俄罗斯;后者一直在拉拢阿塞拜疆,并殷切希望为自己运营的石油管道争取到更多阿塞拜疆石油。但阿利耶夫对阿塞拜疆与美国及欧洲在能源输送方面的合作前景表示了乐观。

由于俄罗斯军事入侵格鲁吉亚,拟议的那布科输油管道等西方国家力推的新能源管道前景一直面临着阴影。

阿利耶夫暗示,如果美国与其伙伴希望扩大阿塞拜疆至格鲁吉亚的石油走廊,就必须更加关注这一地区的安全需要。但在该地区的安全问题上,俄罗斯一向占据上风。在上月的冲突中,俄罗斯军队击溃了接受美国和以色列军事顾问训练的格鲁吉亚部队。

萨卡什维利表示,格鲁吉亚损失了60辆坦克,但其中只有5辆是在战斗中受损的。他说,其他坦克都是在俄军突袭格鲁吉亚在哥里一座军事基地时被俄军俘获或损坏的。

访问第比利斯期间,切尼还将讨论美国和西方国家可能的进一步援助,以协助格鲁吉亚重建并增强军力。萨卡什维利表示,格军主要需加强训练,目前还没有从西方获得新武器支援。

萨卡什维利说,格军需要重新审视其使命,并将向西方求助。他说,我们的部队需要大力加强训练,格军此前的训练方向是充当一只应急部队,而不是去抗击俄罗斯的8万大军和3,000辆坦克。

萨卡什维利称,俄罗斯决意推翻他的政府。他说,俄罗斯不想看到我继续执政。

John D. McKinnon / Andrew Higgins

[ 本帖最后由 chrislau2001 于 2008-9-4 16:53 编辑 ]
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