Prague Fears More Crises Like Georgia

UNITED NATIONS -- An increasingly wealthy and confident Russia has been testing the West with its invasion of Georgia, and it is likely that there will be more such crises in the region, a senior Czech official said.

"We are being tested. We should be careful and we should be firm," said Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Pojar, who met with senior U.S. officials in Washington earlier in the week on Czech plans to host part of a missile shield.

In an interview Friday with a small group of reporters at the United Nations, Pojar said his country believed that the Russian invasion of Georgia was not the last crisis that would pit the new, bolder Russia against the West. "We would not be surprised if similar events ... develop in Crimea," he said.

Some analysts have also said Crimea, in southern Ukraine, could be used by Russia to destabilize the country. It hosts Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the port of Sevastopol, and the majority of people living there are ethnic Russians.

"We hope that this is not going to happen," said Pojar. "But ... the situation there is not very stable, and to provoke more instability would probably not be that difficult."

Meanwhile, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told reporters Friday at an EU meeting in Avignon, France, that he was confident that either U.S. presidential candidate, once elected, would push on with the missile-shield plan.