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    Bush calls Russia's recognition of rebel regions 'irresponsible'

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    U.S. President George Bush has condemned Russia's decision to recognize the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as "irresponsible."

    WASHINGTON, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President George Bush has condemned Russia's decision to recognize the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as "irresponsible."

    Speaking from his Texas ranch on Tuesday, President Bush called the decision "inconsistent with numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions" and also said it violated a "six-point cease-fire agreement which President Medvedev signed on Aug. 12, 2008."

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said after signing decrees to recognize the breakaway regions on Tuesday, "This is not an easy decision, but it is the only way to protect lives.

    Bush also called on Moscow to respect Georgia's territorial integrity and borders and urged Russia to "reconsider this irresponsible decision," adding "Russia's action only exacerbates tensions and complicates diplomatic negotiations."

    Russian officials said, however, that Georgia lost its right to the two regions after it launched a military offensive August 8, which left hundreds dead and forced thousands to flee devastated South Ossetia.

    As South Ossetians and Abkhazians took to the streets in celebration, Western leaders were quick to blast the move, with Britain, Germany, France and Italy all expressing their support for Georgian sovereignty.

    Germany's Angela Merkel said Russia's decision was "totally unacceptable," adding that she hoped the European Union would say the same. France also called the decision "regrettable," while Italy said the move was illegal.

    Georgia called it "an unconcealed annexation" and said its ties with Russia would now "stall for a long time, if not for good.

    The U.S. has staunchly supported its ally Georgia throughout the crisis and has sent millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the South Caucasus state. Russia has however expressed concern over the aid shipments, saying that it suspects they could include arms. The U.S. has denied the allegation.

    A U.S. spokesman said on Wednesday that a warship that was due to deliver aid to the Georgian port of Poti, where Russian troops have been carrying out patrols, would now dock at the port of Batumi. He did not explain the reason for the decision.

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