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Supporting Russia's Neighbors

Supporting Russia's Neighbors
The United States strongly supports the right of every country to chart its own path toward democracy, and to set and execute a policy benefiting its national objectives without interference from its neighbors.

In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion into Georgia, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sought to deflect international criticism by claiming for itself a “region of privileged interests”, which would include Russia’s neighbors, and more.

“The United States does not believe in or recognize ‘spheres of influence’”, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew J. Bryza. “Since 1989, the United States ... has supported the right of every country emerging from Communism to choose the path of its own development, and to choose the institutions-such as NATO and the European Union -- that it wants to associate with and join.”

President George Bush reaffirmed America’s commitment to these principles during separate meetings with the Presidents of two of Russia’s neighbors, Lithuania and Ukraine. Mr. Bush pledged to help Lithuania gain energy independence and to support Ukraine in its path toward NATO membership, despite vehement objections from Russia.

President Bush says democracies need to be able to stand on their own feet without fear of intimidation.