Russia slams NATO for "Cold War" visit to Georgia

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A visit to Georgia by senior NATO officials this week was anti-Russian and showed the alliance is driven by Cold War-style thinking, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“Decisions taken ... confirmed that in NATO, the Cold War-era reflexes of ‘them and us’ are at work once again,” a statement said.

“We cannot view steps to intensify relations between the alliance and Georgia any other way than as encouragement for new adventures ... We believe the alliance’s session in Tbilisi in the current conditions was not timely and does not help stabilization in the region.”

The statement said the visit showed an anti-Russian tendency because NATO officials only viewed war damage inside Georgia, and not in the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which Georgian troops had tried to retake.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer this week led a session in Tbilisi of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s highest political decision-making body, and an inaugural session of a Georgia-NATO commission.

NATO states created the commission to bolster ties with Georgia in the aftermath of Russia’s military intervention in the ex-Soviet state last month, which drew widespread international condemnation.

Russia said it sent in troops to prevent what it called a genocide by Georgian forces against Moscow-backed separatists. Moscow has accused Tbilisi’s Western allies of encouraging aggression by helping to arm and train Georgia’s military.