Energy reality weakens EU’s Russia criticism

Europe has agreed to help rebuild war-devastated Georgia, but rebuilding relations with Russia may take longer. EU leaders decided to put new partnership talks with Moscow on hold if Russian troops are not withdrawn from Georgia soon. President Sarkozy will go to Moscow next week to reinforce Europe’s position.

“We will demand that Russia scrupulously applies the peace plan,” the French leader said. “Europe will be fully involved with the reconstruction of Georgia, including the delivery of humanitarian aid, and we will take the initiative to launch an international conference on rebuilding.”

The Kremlin’s delaying tactics continue to irritate the West, but Europe’s dependence on Russian energy has weakened its condemnation of Moscow’s actions.

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