Cheney: Russian actions in Georgia "illegitimate"

Vice President Dick Cheney arrives for a meeting with Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi September 4, 2008. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze/Pool

TBILISI (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney said on Thursday that Russia had cast doubt on its reliability as an international partner with an “illegitimate” attempt to change Georgia’s borders.

“After your nation won its freedom in the Rose Revolution, America came to the aid of this courageous young democracy,” Cheney told reporters at a joint news briefing in Tbilisi with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

“We are doing so again as you work to overcome an invasion of your sovereign territory and an illegitimate unilateral attempt to change your country’s borders by force that has been universally condemned by the free world,” Cheney said.

“Russia’s actions have cast grave doubt on Russia’s intentions and on its reliability as an international partner -- not just in Georgia but across this region and, indeed, throughout the international system,” he added.

Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria, writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Dmitry Solovyov, editing by Christian Lowe