Through its recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia, Russia has acted "outside of international law, and not only in the opinion of the European Union". This, according to France`s Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, who also said that after Tbilisi, other ex-Soviet republics like "Ukraine", and in particular "the Crimea" or "Moldova" risk finding themselves in the Kremlin`s sights. It is an "extremely dangerous" problem, warned Kouchner, interviewed by the radio broadcaster, `Europe 1`. "We cannot accept similar violations to international laws, security agreements, European cooperation, UN resolutions and, for the first time in a long while, the occupation of a nearby country by a foreign army", said Kouchner. The head of diplomacy in France, whose country currently leads the EU continued to accuse Moscow`s troops of embarking on an "ethnic cleansing" operation, confirming that there is proof showing that the first victims of the conflict were "Ossetians favourable to Georgia". Kouchner has therefore warned that the EU "will definitely react" in the course of the extraordinary meeting of the European Council next Monday in Brussels. The Crimea, and the self-proclaimed secessionist Republic of Transnistria, in eastern Moldova, are both areas where there is a strong presence not only of vast Russian-speaking communities, but also Russian military units and armaments dating back to the break-up of the USSR.

AGI (Italy)