Russia`s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin predicts there won`t be any cooling of ties with the West because the West needs Russian oil, gas and minerals.

He is also likening the situation in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia to the situation in Srebrenica. That`s the Bosnian town where up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by Serb troops in 1995.

He says Russia had to intervene to protect South Ossetians from Georgians, and insists that Russia has conducted itself "absolutely morally and in the framework of existing international law."

Putin was speaking in an interview broadcast Saturday on the state-run TV program "Vesti."

Regarding last month`s war with Georgia he says "the truth is on our side."

AP via International Herald Tribune