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EU peacekeepers may be sent to Georgia

Merkel and Medvedev split over European peacekeepers


Russia Today
August 15, 2008

The leaders of Russia and Germany have clashed over the role of European peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Speaking after their meeting in Sochi, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said their presence was vital to maintain stability in the conflict zone. But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,
while not objecting to the principle, argued that the South Ossetians would not allow it.

Medvedev said: “Peace in the region should be re-established and guaranteed so that no idiotic ideas ever come to anyone’s head – that is the main task for the Russian Federation at the present moment.”

He added that the South Ossetian and Abkhazian sides had stated they would only trust Russian forces to secure peace in the region.

Merkel told the media she did not want to apportion blame, but explained she was not happy with Moscow’s actions.

“The reaction of Russia was disproportionate,” she said. “The presence of military forces on the Georgian territory was wrong. I believe we have to realise the plan of the six principles as soon as possible so that Russian troops can leave the territory of Georgia.”

Though Merkel reiterated the stance that Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected, Medvedev reminded her that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not planning to rejoin Georgia.

Read Full Article Here

 

Medvedev to Merkel: U.S. Missile defense in Poland is aimed at Russia

Reuters
August 15, 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a joint news conference following talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on the Russian-Georgian military conflict.

Following are key excerpts from the briefing:

ON GEORGIA/UKRAINE NATO MEMBERSHIP

MERKEL: “Georgia and Ukraine could be members of NATO, we have left the timing open and we have said they could be made members if they want this and that position remains”

ON RUSSIAN TROOPS WITHDRAWAL

MERKEL: “Some of Russia’s actions were not proportionate… Russian troops should withdraw from central areas in Georgia”

ON POLISH MISSILE SHIELD DEAL

MEDVEDEV: “This decision clearly demonstrates everything we have said recently. The deployment of new anti-missile forces in Europe has as its aim the Russian Federation.

The moment has been chosen well and therefore any fairy tales about deterring other states, fairy tales that with the help of this system, we will deter some sort of rogue states no longer work.

It is sad for Europe and for everyone living on this densely populated continent. But it is not dramatic. We will continue to work on this and we are ready to continue discussions with all participants. But it is clear this decision will not create any sort of calm”.

ON RUSSIAN RELATIONS WITH THE WEST MEDVEDEV: “We would not like of course to see relations deteriorate in the long or short-term. We have always based our position on full-fledged development of relations with the EU, separate EU states, the United States and other states.

We are living in a fragile world and it is obvious that any worsening of the international environment will only serve the interests of the most reactionary forces. Those who don’t understand this are blind.

We don’t want to cut relations with anyone, but nevertheless I’ll tell you that we have fulfilled and will continue to fulfil our peacekeeping mandate. If someone continues to attack our citizens, our peacekeepers, we will of course respond in just the same way we have responded. There should be no doubt about this.”

ON ASSESSING BLAME

MERKEL: “I think in such a complicated and difficult conflict, it is rare that all the blame is on one side. In fact both sides are probably to blame. That is very important to understand.”

ON GEORGIAN TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY

MEDVEDEV: “No one is rejecting the principle of territorial integrity as one of the main principles of international law… Unfortunately after what has happened it is unlikely that the Ossetians and the Abkhazians will be able to live in one state together with the Georgians.”

ON INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPERS

MEDVEDEV: “We are, of course, not against international peacekeepers. But it is not our position which matters. The problem is that Ossetians and Abkhazians themselves do not trust anyone but Russian peacekeepers”.

ON PEACE AND IDIOTIC IDEAS

MEDVEDEV: “Peace needs to be restored and guaranteed in the region. So that no one gets any more idiotic ideas into their heads. This is Russia’s main goal today”.

EU Peacekeepers Might Be Sent Into Georgia
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/13/georgia.russia8

 


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