A Private Obama Warning To Putin?

by Michael Crowley | August 4, 2009

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Brian Whitmore looks at the entirety of Obama administration rhetoric, sees an effort to drive a wedge between Putin and Medvedev, and thinks Biden may not have been so off-message about Russia after all.

I say it's too much in keeping with Biden's gaffe-prone tendencies to dismiss. But on another front Whitmore adds this, which I hadn't seen elsewhere:

Senior Georgian officials have told RFE/RL that behind the scenes in Moscow, Obama warned Medvedev and Putin in no uncertain terms against starting a new war with Georgia.

The officials said Tbilisi was informed by U.S. officials that Obama told Russia's leaders that any attack against Georgia would have "grave consequences" and that Washington "would not stand aside" in such a conflict as it did during last year's war.

A White House spokesperson declined comment on the claim (but did not deny it), saying only "we don't discuss private conversations."

We're all Georgians again?

--Michael Crowley

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/private-obama-warning-putin