Medvedev accuses NATO for provoking Georgian "aggression"

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today accused NATO of provoking Georgia to launch "aggression" in its breakaway republic South Ossetia and called for creating a new pan-European security architecture.

The US-led Western military alliance is unable to ensure security in the continent, he said. "NATO provoked the conflict by encouraging criminal and irresponsible Georgian regime and the current security system has been hacked," Medvedev said addressing a Kremlin meeting with the leaders of Russian NGOs.

"We have been told that NATO will ensure security, take care of everything. What did NATO ensure? It only provoked the conflict and nothing else."

In his televised remarks he said that Europe faces two choices: either go by the rule of 'Might is Right' or evolve a comprehensive security architecture based on democratic multi-lateral principles.

He accused the West of trying to push Russia into isolation and said, "This is not our path. Russia will not let anyone push it off the path leading to democracy and cooperation into self-isolation and authoritarianism."

Medvedev took a virtual dig on US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over her remarks on Russia made at German Marshall Fund. Rice had called the Russian government an authoritarian regime drifting towards dictatorship.

"From my beloved internet I also learnt that they are going to support Russian students, teachers, doctors, scientists and judges. Judges! Are they going to bribe them?.. Today judges, tomorrow they will pick presidents for Russia," Medvedev said in virtual debate with Rice's anti-Russian speech.

[Source: The Hindu, Moscow, 19Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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