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UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A key Czech leader said Friday that a resurgent Russia has begun testing the West and warned that Ukraine's strategic Crimea peninsula could become a target.
Tomas Pojar, deputy foreign minister of the Czech Republic, said Russia's strong objection to U.S. missile defense bases in his country and Poland and recent events in Georgia clearly indicate Moscow's opposition to Western influence in the former Soviet Union's sphere of influence.
"We are being tested," he told a group of U.N. journalists. "We should be careful. We should be firm."
Russia drew harsh criticism from the U.S. and Europe for recognizing two separatist Georgian territories as independent states following a short but devastating war that left Russian troops in control of a key Georgian Black Sea port and other locations deep inside Georgia.