Bush slams Russian recognition of breakaway areas

The United States condemns the "irresponsible decision" by Russia to recognize two breakaway Georgian provinces as independent, US President George W. Bush said Tuesday. Already rebuffed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Bush issued a statement Tuesday that urged Russia to change course, although that appeared unlikely. The president said, "We expect Russia to live up to its international commitments." He said Russia should "reconsider this irresponsible decision." Medvedev said Tuesday that his country would grant diplomatic recognition to the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He said Georgia forced Russia's hand by trying to gain control by force in the smaller of the two areas, South Ossetia, on Aug. 7.