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US considering new steps against Russia
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The United States is considering to take further actions against Russia after the latter's invasion of Georgia, Under Secretary of State William Burns said in Washington on Wednesday.

"We continue to review other options," Burns told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "It is important to reinforce for Russia the consequences of its actions in Georgia as a means of ensuring compliance with its commitments to President (Nicolas) Sarkozy."

The US State Department announced on September 8 that US President George W. Bush had decided to delay submitting a US-Russia civilian nuclear cooperation agreement to the Congress.

Georgia launched attacks against South Ossetia on August 7 in an attempt to regain control of the breakaway region bordering Russia.In retaliation, Moscow sent in troops that drove Georgian forces out of the region and took over parts of Georgian territory.

South Ossetia, formerly an autonomous region within Georgia, declared independence from the former Soviet republic in the early 1990s. However, its independence has not been internationally recognized.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke from central Georgian rule during wars in the early 1990s following the collapse of the former Soviet Union, but their self-proclaimed independence is not recognized internationally.

Earlier in the day, the White House reiterated its call for Russian withdrawal of all its troops from Georgia. "Our position in support of Georgia's territorial integrity is unchanged," US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

In accordance with the agreement with Sarkozy, Russia has said it will pull its troops back to the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by October 11 if European Union observers arrive to replace them.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2008)

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