Lavrov does not regard Georgia ruling regime as democratic

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called a statement issued by the NATO foreign ministers "non-objective and biased."

"The statement of the NATO foreign ministers is non-objective and biased, first of all because it does not say how everything had begun, why all this happened and who started the aggressive actions, who was arming the Georgian government, who consistently within the recent time has been blocking our proposals on the conclusion of a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force by the sides," Lavrov stressed. "In essence, NATO has taken Saakashvili under its protection, and the use of words by certain members of the Alliance is really bewildering," the Russian foreign minister stressed.

"I have heard today that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that the actions of Russia are aimed at undermining the Georgian democracy, as if there had been no numerous facts of the lack of true democracy in Georgia over the past year, as if there was no report of experts of the Council of Europe on the gross violations of obligations before this organisation by Georgia, as if there was no report of the Georgian human rights commissioner – the report that the Georgian parliament under the pressure of the administration of President Saakashvili and contrary to Georgian laws refused to hear, because the report is deadly in what concerns the real state of affairs in the human rights sphere and democracy in Georgia," said Lavrov.

"And as if there was no decision of the Georgian leadership soon after the beginning of its aggressive action in South Ossetia to block all Russian channels, close the broadcasting of all Russian channels for Georgia," the Russian foreign minister said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported last week on the results of a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying that Russia rejects the US accusations of breaking the settlement principles formalised in agreements between the Russian and French Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy.

During the conversation the Russian minister answered a number of questions of the state secretary in connection with the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia "giving explanations on the essence of the coordinated plan of conflict settlement," the ministry sources noted. "The minister firmly rejected insinuations regarding the "non-observance" by Russia of the settlement principles fixed in the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreements," the Foreign Ministry officials pointed out.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 19Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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