The President-elect [Barack Obama] made it clear that it will be important for the United States to engage with the ongoing dialogue with Russia, because we all have mutual interests. But we also make that crystal clear that that dialogue does not come at the expense of the security of Georgia, the sovereignty of Georgia, the independence of Georgia; the rights of its people or our interests here that are expressed in unison with the European community. I believe we can have a good relationship with Russia and restore a balance with respect to the interests of this region so that the sovereignty of Georgia is properly respected and so we all go forward respecting the appropriate rights of each state. So there are a clear set of principles on which we begin that kind of discussion and Russia understands that.
My judgment is that Georgia as a sovereign country needs to be upheld and respected. And the agreement that the Russians have signed up to needs to be upheld. I think we need to get the focus back from discussions of the August events and how they may unfolded to the realities of what is happening on the ground today and what we need to do to go forward in the interests of protecting the [human] rights and finding an appropriate accommodation that respects the law and the sovereignty.
The Congress of the United States and certainly the United States’ Senate will be deeply committed to continuing our assistance to Georgia, particularly in this time, when the economy is stressed and we recognize the very real importance of Georgia and of its ability to be able to sustain itself during this troubled economic times. This is about Georgia’s efforts to protect its sovereignty; to protect its people and to stand as an example of what freedom and democracy can provide.
–U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry, Tbilisi, December 13