WASHINGTON—Following Russia's controversial military excursions into neighboring Georgia, the Bush administration made its most direct commitment to the U.S.'s Eastern European allies to date by "strongly advising" those countries not to border Russia under any circumstance. "The United States stands by its allies, but will not be able to defend our friends in the region if they continue to share geographical lines with Russia," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at a Monday press conference. "We also recommend that those nations who may not border Russia but were once a part of the USSR immediately cease and desist from having had that history with the Soviet Union." Rice later pledged financial aid to the victims of devastating flooding in the West African nation of Togo, effective upon the country first meeting the stipulation of removing itself from under water.