Russia Threatening Democracy In Georgia, Ukraine — Saakashvili

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- Democracy in Georgia and Ukraine is under threat because Russia is creating obstacles to democratic processes in the countries, the Georgian president said Thursday.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili

The international conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, called “Common Visions for a Common Neighborhood” was attended by heads of states from the Baltic and Black Sea regions and NATO and EU representatives, RIA Novosti reports.

During the last few months relations between Russia and the two countries have worsened. At the beginning of this year a gas conflict broke out between Russia and Ukraine. Recently, the Russian government suspended imports of Georgian wine over what it said were health concerns.

“If Moscow creates obstacles to our democratic values it means only escalating danger,” Saakashvili said.

He added that Russian actions represent a challenge for Europe as well, as a threat to democracies in Georgian and Ukrainian will also undermine European interests.

This is not the first criticism of Russia at the conference. Earlier in the day, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney rebuked Russia for rolling back the democratic “gains of the past decade’’ and called on the country’s state-controlled energy companies to stop intimidating nations in the region that need oil and natural gas to grow their economies.

Source: MOSNews