#4 - JRL 7031
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE OFFICIAL: WASHINGTON WILL NOT CONDEMN MOSCOW IN CASE IT LAUNCHES PREVENTIVE STRIKES AGAINST CHECHEN MILITANTS ON GEORGIAN TERRITORY
MOSCOW, January 23, 2003. /from a RIA Novosti correspondent/. - The United States will not condemn Moscow in case it launches preventive strikes against Chechen militants on Georgian territory, said US Deputy Secretary of the State Richard Armitage.
It will not be easy for the United States, a country which believes in the preventive strike doctrine, to condemn such a move, said the US State Department official.
However, speaking live on the Echo of Moscow radio station, Armitage expressed hope that Russia would display due sensitivity in this issue and would take into account the fact that Georgia was Russia's longstanding neighbor.