Tensions between Russia and Georgia escalated after four Russian officers were charged in Tbilisi with spying. Although the officers were released last Monday and returned to their homeland, Russia suspended transport and mail links with Georgia, as several senior Russian politicians demanded economic sanctions and other measures against the North Caucasus country.
"In its impudence, the Saakashvili regime has stomped over all rules of rational, civilized behavior, and Russia's response, in my opinion, was adequate," Ivanov, who is also deputy prime minister, said in an interview with the Russian television.
"By adequate [response] I mean that we did not take any actions, which the Georgian leadership was apparently expecting from us," he said.
Russia evacuated most of its embassy staff last week amid the worst crisis with Georgia since its Western-leaning government came to power in 2003 with four officers accused of espionage at the center, and was evacuating Russian tourists from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Friday.
Police have closed down several casinos and restaurants in Moscow for alleged links with the Georgian mafia. President Putin also called for immigration laws to be tightened, and 180 Georgians were deported Friday over alleged immigration-law violations.
"The Russian-Georgian relations continued to deteriorate after Saakashvili came to power," Ivanov said. "It included assaults on Russian peacekeepers, their detentions, constant pressure on the [Russian] military personnel stationed in Georgia. These incidents took place and I am afraid will continue to occur in the future."
Ivanov blasted Georgia's double-standard policies and sovereignty aspirations claims saying Russia has concrete evidence indicating that Georgian leadership is on an official payroll of a non-governmental foreign organization.
"It is unacceptable, in my opinion, to talk about sovereignty or protection of [Georgia's] interests in this situation," the defense minister said.
"As to claims that Russia is taking revenge or attempting to prevent Georgia from joining the NATO structures, it is complete rubbish," Ivanov said.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.