The U.S. sees Russia as a strategic rival, Western Europe sees it as a strategic partner and Eastern Europe sees it as a threatThe war between Russia and Georgia is Europe's biggest diplomatic test since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq five years ago.
The European Union -- with its aspirations to a common foreign policy -- is trying hard to show a united front. But beyond the EU's call for an immediate cease-fire by Russian forces in Georgia, familiar fault lines are emerging over the conflict's true culprit and its broader implications.
Some established EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, such as Germany, France and Italy, are expressing only limited criticism of Russia, a major energy supplier that many Western European governments view as a partner they can't do without. The U.K., however, which has had several diplomatic spats with Moscow this year over energy giant BP PLC's investments in Russia, went further, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown warning that Russia's military actions would damage its relations with other countries.
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