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Incoming US administration outlines its policy on Georgia

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, January 15
The new administration of the United States has briefly outlined its policy towards the former Soviet States of Ukraine and Georgia, the Georgian media reported on Wednesday.

Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton talked about the US new administration’s foreign policy at a meeting with the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she touched upon the issue of US-Russian relations. Clinton noted that it is necessary for Washington to pursue a pragmatic and smart diplomatic policy. “With 'smart power', diplomacy will be the vanguard of foreign policy,” Clinton told the Senators. “America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America,” said Clinton.

The New York Senator said the US would seek cooperation with Russia while standing up for US values and international norms. She noted that U.S-Russian relations remain strained after the conflict between Russia and Georgia last August.

“The United States should vehemently oppose Russian intimidation of its neighbours and should not give in to Moscow`s threats. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev`s threat, made less than one day after Mr. Obama`s election victory, to deploy an Iskander missile system between Poland and Lithuania in response to U.S. plans for the third-site system, is evidence enough that Russian intimidation of its neighbours is alive and well,” Clinton was quoted as saying. “In April, former President Vladimir Putin even threatened to aim nuclear missiles at Ukraine if it sought NATO membership. Such attempts at intimidation are unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by the United States,” she added.

The Senator called NATO a “pillar of the international security system” and noted that “NATO remains indispensable, and its enlargement needs to continue. NATO enlargement has spread security far beyond its 12 founding members and is a concrete example of the alliance's enduring contribution to global stability. The case for NATO's open door policy should continue to be made, and the message that the alliance, a vital part of the transatlantic security architecture, is open for business should be stated loud and clear.”

Senator Clinton was speaking to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the hearing to confirm her appointment as Secretary of State.