This is from AFP.
Of course U.S. credibility apparently never suffers after invading Iraq etc. etc. Interesting that Nicaragua also recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Probably this is pay back by the former Sandanistas for U.S. support for the contras. Maybe they will get some aid from Russia in return. Note that there is nary a word in this article about the original attack by Georgia on South Ossetia and actual killing of some peacekeepers. We have the usual flowery rhetoric about the Rose Revolution and democracy et al but then the rest of the story...
His(Cheney's) trip has also been aimed at expanding the transit of oil and gas exports to the West through pipelines across Georgia and Azerbaijan, avoiding Russia which Washington is viewing with increasing distrust.
Cheney says Russian credibility at doubt after war
15 hours ago
TBILISI (AFP) — US Vice President Dick Cheney accused Russia of having invaded Georgia on Thursday as he arrived to bolster the pro-Western government following the announcement of a billion dollar US aid package.
After talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili, Cheney said the five day war last month had cast "grave doubt" on Russia's international credibility and accused Moscow of seeking to redraw Georgia's borders.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will seek backing for his country's intervention at a Moscow summit of seven ex-Soviet states on Friday. Nicaragua has become the first country to follow its lead in recognising the independence of Georgian rebel regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Cheney is the highest-level American official to visit the region since Georgia launched its August 7 offensive to regain control of South Ossetia region, sparking the conflict with its giant neighbour.
"Russia's actions have cast grave doubt on Russia's intentions and on its reliability as an international partner, not just in Georgia but across this region and indeed across the international system," he said.
"After your nation won its freedom in the Rose Revolution, America came to the aid of this courageous young democracy," said Cheney, referring to the 2003 uprising that brought Saakashvili to power.
"We are doing so again as you work to overcome an invasion of your sovereign territory and an illegitimate, unilateral attempt to change your country's borders by force that has been universally condemned by the free world."
Later Cheney was to visit US aid operations in Georgia and highlight the US one billion-dollar (690 million euro) package.
The United States has taken a lead role supporting Georgia since hostilities erupted over Moscow-backed rebel regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Russia then recognised as independent.
Washington's relations with Moscow have plummeted as the United States has led angry western criticism of Russia's military action, its recognition of the rebel regions, and the continued presence of its troops in Georgia.
Cheney is pointedly not visiting Russia on a tour that has already taken him to Georgia's neighbour Azerbaijan, where he stressed that the security of the energy-rich region was a top concern for Washington.
His trip has also been aimed at expanding the transit of oil and gas exports to the West through pipelines across Georgia and Azerbaijan, avoiding Russia which Washington is viewing with increasing distrust.
The West has expressed outrage at Russia's military action and its recognition of the rebel regions, and NATO's chief, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, plans to visit Georgia later this month for further aid talks.
The European Union also plans an international donors conference for Georgia and the International Monetary Fund announced it would come up with a 750-million-dollar loan for Georgia, if its executive board approves.
"With our full support and the support of the entire free world, a democratic Georgia will survive, will rebuild and will thrive," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said as she announced the US aid package on Wednesday.
Bush will work with US lawmakers, who may have to approve the funds, to free up to 570 million dollars this year, with the remaining 430 million coming later, she said.
Moscow withdrew most of its forces under a French-brokered ceasefire plan, but thousands of Russian troops that Moscow terms "peacekeepers" remain in the two rebel regions and in a buffer zone.
Cheney's will head later Thursday to Ukraine where President Viktor Yushchenko has plunged the country into fresh political turmoil by pulling his
Our Ukraine party out of the ruling pro-Western coalition.