Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gestures during an interview with Georgia’s Rustavi-2 television channel© RIA Novosti. Alexander Astafiev
MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – Membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would not give Georgia any advantages for further development and would only strain relations with Russia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.
“This would give nothing to Georgia as a sovereign and dynamically developing state, but would create a long-term source of tensions between our countries,” Medvedev said in an interview with Georgia’s Rustavi-2 television channel.
Speaking in regard to the fifth anniversary of the brief war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia, Medvedev said it the military intervention was the right decision for him to make as president at that time in order to stabilize the region.
“I believe that everything that was undertaken by us, including by me as president, our Armed Forces and finally at a diplomatic level, enabled the situation to be allayed. They were not the easy decisions to make, but I believe everything was done right in that sense,” he said.
The prime minister also expressed hope that Georgia would begin direct talks with South Ossetia on issues such as refugees and the non-use of military force.
Georgia lost control over one-fifth of its territory after South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another former republic within Georgia, broke away and were recognized by Moscow in the wake of a brief war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia that erupted on August 8, 2008.
In the interview, Medvedev also reiterated that the presence of the Russian military forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia complied with legal norms and could not be viewed as an occupation of Georgian territory.
Tbilisi passed the Law on Occupied Territories in October 2008, declaring the "Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia" and the "Tskhinvali Region,” or South Ossetia, as "occupied territories." The law forbids entry into the regions from Russia and subjects violators to a fine or imprisonment.
Moscow provides the breakaway republics with economic and military support and has recognized their independence, along with a handful of other countries. Most countries do not recognize South Ossetia or Abkhazia as independent states, but view them as part of Georgia.
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- arsanlupinAll very logical and reasonable …07:52, 07/08/2013… it just ignores a few details. Basically, most of the Georgian people consider the Russian intervention an act of war, and their continued presence an occupying army. They DO want their territory back. They DO want to distance themselves from the former Soviet Union – almost as badly as the Baltic States do. They DO want to join both the EU and NATO. And they most definitely DON’T want close relations with Russia.
Are ALL of their viewpoints valid? Probably not – Georgia blundered badly in many ways, when they attacked South Ossetia. Georgia could have handled the breakaway province issue a lot better. President Saakashvili could have been more diplomatic. But none of it excused the breathtaking overreaction of the Russian invasion.
Worse: Russia’s puzzlement over Georgia’s hatred of them is disingenuous at best; delusional at worst. They continue to ignore and deny the REAL reasons for USSR’s collapse, inventing conspiracy theories to excuse everything, and ignoring the breathtaking scope of the Soviet Union’s brutality and dysfunctionality. They continue to ignore and deny the anger, hatred, and resentment of the non-ethnic Russians of the former Soviet republics who feel they were ALL taken into the USSR by force, occupied, raped of resources, oppressed, pushed aside by ‘colonization’ of ethnic Russians, and polluted for 75 years. Russia has to learn that its legacy from the former Soviet Union is akin to Germany’s legacy from Nazi Germany – and for the same inhumane reasons. Fortunately, Russia was nowhere near as efficient as Nazi Germany – in any way. Unfortunately, the USSR had a lot more time to brutalize the people and poison the land.
Face it, Russia: your former slaves are really – REALLY – pissed off at you! Russia must learn the lessons of Germany and Japan, and apply those lessons to how they treat people – both their own citizens and those of their former empire. Only then can they earn any respect in international relations. Only then will they be able to properly interact with former Soviet republics and former Warsaw Pact nations.
- cheruskGeorgia never existed as sovreign nation11:30, 07/08/2013And though, Georgia provided the greatest leader of the USSR cleansed from the Wall Street agents like Trotzky.
Warmonger Shakashvili is American citizen who was installed into power by a coup d'état.
- arsanlupinWow! So much manure in so few words!20:06, 08/08/2013Georgia did in fact exist as an independent state for 3 years after the revolution broke up the Imperial Russian state and before the USSR took it by force. The rest of the time it was being conquered and occupied by various countries – including Russia.
Iosef Dzhughashvili was the most brutal monster ever born to the human race, responsible for the death of as many as 60 million people – including over 30 million citizens of the Soviet Union, and most of his own family. Incompetent as a leader and as a general, he led the Soviet Union to the brink of destruction multiple times. When his generals tried to advise him against strategically unwise moves, he accused them of plotting against him and had them executed. The Red Army succeeded – barely – in spite of Stalin’s bungling. His bloody legacy will be harder to live down than Hitler’s or Tojo’s – especially since only the other two nations are trying to.
Trotsky was a firm believer of Marxism and was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War. He was expelled and deported because he protested Stalin’s bloated bureaucracy and growing cult of personality. He was killed because he didn’t stop protesting while living in Mexico. You are falsely vilifying him because he was Jewish.
While president Saakashvili did make a big mistake in attacking South Ossetia, he is most definitely a warmonger – simply a patriot to his homeland. He was born in Tbilisi. He only studied law in the United States; he was never a US citizen. He was elected to the Sacrebulo, and worked to fight the endemic corruption in the Sheverdnadze government. His predecessor voluntarily resigned from office after a popular non-violent protest made plain he had no more legitimacy. Saakashvili was democratically elected president in 2004, and re-elected in 2008. He enjoys a far higher approval rating with his own people than Putin does, and he didn’t have to cheat to get re-elected.
- GarryB(no title)13:48, 07/08/2013Russia was no more responsible in a practical sense for what the Soviet Union did to itself or its neighbours than Georgia did... in fact most of the worst things the Soviet Union did it did under the orders of Joseph Stalin who by decree decided that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were part of Georgia when clearly they do not want to be.
If Georgia wants to be part of the EU and NATO that is fine... let them be the last to join those sinking ships, the point is that even with membership nothing will change regarding South Ossetia or Abkhazia till Georgia starts to talk to them.
After their violent bombardment of South Ossetia I doubt there will be much to talk about... there was no diplomacy at all from Saakashvili.
You say Russia should learn from Germany and Japan... perhaps Georgia should learn from every country in the world colonised by the UK or France and just get over it.
If the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia wanted to be Georgian there would be no problem and there would be nothing Russia could do about it.
The fact is that the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia don't want to be part of Georgia in any way.
But lets not ignore the elephant in the room the problem was created by the declaration of independence by Kosovo, which led to Russia opening its borders with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. When Saakashvili realised he had lost his grip on those two regions he attacked in a desperate attempt to get them before the Russians could intervene.
He failed and in bombing South Ossetia showed he wanted the land to be Georgian but was not so interested in the safety of those people living on the land... how very much like Nazi Germany of him on the eastern front.
BTW if all Georgians hate Russians why don't all those Georgians in Russia go home?
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.