- Title: USA: U.S. weighs sanctions, Russia nuclear deal at risk
- Date: 29th August 2008
- Summary: (BN14) WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (AUGUST 28, 2008) (REUTERS) WHITE HOUSE
- Embargoed: 13th September 2008 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA7BE0JC2NIWWBACRLVMNRW1GWY
- Story Text: The White House says Washington may scrap a civil nuclear pact with Moscow and consider sanctions as punishment for its military action in Georgia, raising pressure on Russia to comply with a ceasefire.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters on Thursday (August 28) the U.S. is in the process of re-evaluating its relationship with Russia, a move that could include imposing sanctions on Moscow, over the Georgia crisis.
"We are doing that in concert with our international partners,"
She also said it was premature to say what kind of sanctions against Russia would be considered.
The United States is "not going to be rushed into making decisions without having thoroughly looked at all of the issues," Perino said.
In Paris, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said European Union leaders are considering sanctions against Russia ahead of a summit on Monday to discuss the situation in Georgia, which hosts two major energy pipelines and has ports on the Black Sea.
One option Washington is considering is nixing the nuclear deal signed in May that would open up the booming U.S. nuclear market and Russia's vast uranium fields to firms from both countries by removing Cold War-era restrictions.
"All I would say is we're looking at various forms of options in terms of our response to Russia's aggression in Georgia," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
The conflict erupted when Georgian troops tried to retake the pro-Russia separatist region of South Ossetia in early August. Russia responded with a counter-attack that overwhelmed Tbilisi's forces and occupied Georgian territory beyond the breakaway region.
Moscow has since partially withdrawn its forces and recognized South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent, defying the West.
U.S. President George W. Bush offered up to $5.75 million to help Georgian refugees.
The Pentagon said the United States has provided Georgia with $22 million in humanitarian aid amounting to 947 tons (859 tonnes) of supplies.
U.S. military planes have conducted 53 aid flights to Georgia.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman insisted the aid has been strictly humanitarian and has not involved supplies of arms or other military hardware despite accusations by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Washington was delivering weapons to Georgia.
Perino at the White House dismissed as "patently false" a charge by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that someone in the United States provoked the conflict to help one of the two candidates in the U.S.
presidential election in November.
The State Department also rejected Putin's accusations.
"Those types of charges that the United States was involved in instigating it are without foundation and as I said earlier ludicrous, plain and simple," said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.
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