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FORMER U.S. SENATOR HART URGES PARTY TO SOFTEN STANCE ON RUSSIA
By Peter Duveen
PETER'S NEW YORK, August 29, 2008--Although Democrats have generally taken a hard line toward Russia regarding its conflict with neighboring Georgia, former U.S. Senator Gary Hart said yesterday he believed his party should consider a more toned down response to the dispute between the two nations.
Earlier this month, Georgian troops attacked South Ossetia, where both Russian and Georgian peace keepers were stationed under an international agreement. Russia responded by invading Georgia and neutralizing its military. Both Democrats and Republicans have fallen over each other to condemn Russia's actions. But Hart, in statements made at a panel discussion sponsored by the National Democratic Institute and the Center for U.S. Global Engagement, said a "more nuanced" approach to the situation was more appropriate. Hart said he has been a participant in a recently formed commission to improve American-Russian relations. He said the commission would come out with a statement in the near future.