Reinfeldt in Brussels For Emergency Summit
Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt is in Brussels for an emergency summit of EU leaders on the Georgian crisis.
The meeting is expected to condemn Russia’s recognition of independence for Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but sanctions against Moscow , called for by France last week, are thought to be highly unlikely.
On Sunday, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt told a German newspaper that he opposed sanctions and called instead for a summit meeting between the EU and and eastern Europe to strengthen relations between the two blocs.
Bildt said Russia would ”pay a high price for its actions in the Caucasus if countries such as Georgia and Ukraine had closer relations with the European Union and Nato.”
The EU’s 27 member states are divided in how to respond to Russia’s actions with many wary of alienating Moscow. Sweden though has taken a hard line against Russia since the start of the Georgian conflict ealr last month. Last week, Bildt said the Russian recognition of the Georgian rebel enclaves South Ossetia and Abkhazia was ”a deliberate violation of international law and basic principles for stability in Europe” that ”dramatically escalated the crisis between Russia and the rest of the world.”
For its part, on the eve of the EU summit, Russia’s Foreign Minister said further Western support for Georgia’s present leadership would be a mistake of historic magnitude