Chancellor Merkel Meets With President Medvedev

Chancellor Merkel of Germany flew to the Russian black sea resort of Sochi to meet with Russian leader, Dimitry Medvedev. The purpose of her meeting was to reduce tension which had risen over the past few days as charges and threats flew back and forth from Russian and American diplomats. Merkel urged President Medvedev to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia, but he felt in light of the Georgian invasion neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia wanted anything to do with being part of Georgia. Merkel argued for an international peace keeping presence in Georgia which was not opposed by the Russian leader. “We are not against international peace keepers,” he said, but emphasized South Ossetia and Abkhazia would not accept them and only wanted Russian soldiers to protect them.

Chancellor Merkel was able to get a slight backing down on the part of Russian leaders when she expressed concern over remarks made by General Anatly Nogovitsyin who hinted at an attack on any missile bases the US would build in Poland. Medvedev expressed his sadness at the American decision to construct missile bases in Poland but assured Chancellor Merkel, although that decision is “sad news for all who lie on this densely populated continent, but it is not dramatic.”