Russian foreign minister accuses NATO of ‘bias’
Official takes particular aim at the United States, accusing Washington of hypocrisy in its support for Tbilisi.
Moscow -- Russia has slammed NATO's position on the crisis over South Ossetia as "biased" and "one-sided," warning Tuesday that the Western alliance's decision to review its ties with Moscow could have a serious impact on future relations.
"It seems to me that NATO is trying to make an aggressor out of a victim, to whitewash a criminal regime, to rescue a chaotic regime and is on the road toward rearming the current Georgian leadership," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.
He took particular aim at the United States, accusing Washington of hypocrisy in its support for Tbilisi.
Lavrov charged that NATO had effectively offered Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili protection in spite of a previous negative assessment of his government by experts from the Council of Europe, the multinational body that promotes human rights on the continent.
Both Russia and Georgia are members of the council, which contains almost all European countries.
At an emergency meeting called at the request of the US in Brussels, the foreign ministers of NATO's 26 member states agreed to set up a joint commission with Georgia aimed at discussing key issues of mutual interest.
Russia strongly opposes Georgia's bid to become a NATO member, which is backed by the US but has been delayed by key European powers, including France and Germany.