Russia warns of consequences after talks freeze

Russia’s Ambassador to the EU has warned that the bloc will lose out by suspending long-delayed talks on a framework for new relations as retaliation for the military campaign in Georgia.

But Vladimir Chizhov played down fears that energy supplies will be affected: “A reporter asked me earlier today whether we were going to turn off the gas and oil supplies to the European Union. I can assure you that is not going to happen.”

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, however, claimed his country had now become the “centre of the struggle for freedom.” Addressing the nation on television, Saakashvili said it was clear that the “isolation of Russia was becoming inevitable”.

He claimed that Russia had now been told clearly that if it would not step back, the EU would take steps, even though the bloc stopped short of imposing sanctions at the Brussels summit.

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