Italy calls on EU to be united in Georgia crisis

The Italian foreign minister has called on fellow European Union members to remain united and not split between pro- and anti-Russian factions in the face of the Georgia crisis, a newspaper said Tuesday. In an interview with Italian daily Il Foglio, Franco Frattini also was quoted as saying Italy is ready to take part in any humanitarian effort to help those hurt by days of fighting between Russia and Georgia. "To make a difference, Europe needs to remains united - meaning that there should not be an anti-Russian group and a pro-Russian group," Frattini said, according to the conservative daily. "This would condemn any initiative - whatever it may be - to failure, and any discussion at the UN Security Council to a Russian veto." Frattini insisted that Russia would remain a strategic partner in the future anyway, and that countries like Italy should work for a "balanced solution" to the crisis between Russia and Georgia.