South Ossetians and Abkhazians Fell Victim to US Presidential Elections

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates. Putin said he was disappointment that the U.S. administration which he said helped arm and train the Georgian military, failed to move in and stop Georgia early in the conflict.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi on Thursday, Putin said that instead of spending years looking for compromise solutions, it is a lot easier to arm one side in the conflict and push it to kill the other. Looks like a quick fix but in reality it is not always so, Vladimir Putin said.

"My impression is that someone in the US deliberately masterminded this whole conflict with an eye to ratcheting up the situation and benefit one of its presidential candidates in the November elections, Putin said. "Russia wants no problems, it doesn’t want to quarrel with anyone… All we want is normal cooperation and respect for our interests, the Prime Minister added.

It is a special tragedy for us, Vladimir Putin says, because in the past few centuries Georgia’s ancient culture and its people have no doubt become part of Russia’s multi-national culture. For us, the latest developments are something of a civil war, of sorts. Georgia, of course, is an independent state and we are going to violate its sovereignty right neither now nor in the immediate future. But more than million of Georgians previously came to Russia, which has special spiritual ties with Georgia and its people. I am confident that by paying tribute to all killed Russian servicemen and civilians, many in Russia are also doing so with respect to Georgian youths.

As to Russia’s guarantees about its peaceful intentions toward the former Soviet Union republics, it is they , not Russia, who must reserve the right, the Russian PM emphasized. We are a peace-loving nation and open to cooperation with our immediate neighbors and partners. But if some politicians believe that it s possible to come and kill people with impunity then it is high time for them to seriously mull over grave consequences of similar steps for their own nation’s future , Vladimir Putin concluded.

[Source: The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 29Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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