Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 16, 2009 22:52:36 GMT -5
EU Condemns Russian President Medvedev's South Ossetia Visit.
Novinite.com Bulgaria in EU | July 16, 2009, Thursday
The EU has denounced Monday's visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the Georgian separatist Republic of South Ossetia.
The Swedish Presidency has announced EU's position that Medvedev's visit to South Ossetia without the official permission of the Georgian government in Tbilisi was "incompatible" with the territorial integrity of Georgia, as quoted by BGNES.
The Swedish EU Presidency has expressed the Union's concern over the effect that Medvedev's visit to South Ossetia might have on the international efforts to stabilize the region.
On Monday Medvedev visited South Ossetia's capital, Tskhinvali, and hailed the region as "a new country."
The breakaway Georgian Republic of South Ossetia has been recognized only by Russia and Nicaragua.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) receives traditional welcome at the building of the presidential administration in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia 13 July 2009.
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2013 9:29:15 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 16, 2009 23:34:49 GMT -5
People of South Ossetia thank Russia's Medvedev for help during war against Georgia.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who visited the republic of South Ossetia for the first time, shared his impressions of the country, which Russia recognized as an independent state after the armed conflict with Georgia last summer.
“It was our first visit to the new state, which appeared as an independent country nearly a year ago. It happened after an act of rude aggression on the part of the Georgian regime,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted Medvedev as saying. “The Georgian regime is entirely responsible for what happened in August of 2008,” Medvedev added.
“The Georgian nation will someday bring down its sentence on Saakashvili’s regime. Russia’s objective is to help the young nation rise to its feet, overcome difficulties and survive under very complicated conditions in the Caucasus,” the president told reporters at a news conference in Russia’s Sochi.
Speaking about the living conditions in the city of Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, Medvedev said that the life of the people there was very hard. However, he continued, all of them were grateful for Russia’s decisions, the nation made during the war. “If we hadn’t made those decisions, many of those people wouldn’t have been alive today. They were thanking Russia with tears in their eyes,” the Russian leader said.
Medvedev said that he visited Russia’s army base in Tskhinvali. “The base is a signal for those who may have idiotic plans in their heads,” he said.
Georgia attacked the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. The majority of the South Ossetians hold Russian passports. Russia responded to Georgia ’s aggression immediately to defend its citizens. Georgia was defeated, and Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26.
Dmitry Medeved also told reporters that a Russian strategic nuclear-powered submarine performed a successful launch of a ballistic missile on July 14. The president did not specify the class of the missile, though.
Russia has been testing its Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile for several years already. Several of such launches did not prove to be successful. A source from Russia’s Defense Ministry told Interfax news agency that it was not the Bulava missile, which Medvedev spoke of.
To all appearance, it goes about the launch of a sea-based strategic missile of the Russian Navy. The missile was launched successfully on Monday night. The test launches of the Bulava rocket will take place later, in accordance with a special program.
RIA Novosti news agency reported that Dmitry Medvedev was talking about the launch of the RSM-54 Sineva missile.
Russia's President Dimity Medvedev, right, speaks with Eduard Kokoity, the leader of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, left, during a visit to the Russian military base in the region's capital Tsinkhvali (AP photo)
Saakashvili: Georgia's Hopes for NATO, South Ossetia Dead.
Novinite.com World | July 20, 2009, Monday
Georgia's hopes to become a NATO member are dead, according to its President, Mihail Saakashvili.
In an interview for the Wall Street Journal, Saakishvili states that the Georgians had also lost hopes to restore their authority over the two breakaway republics, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whose independence has been recognized by Russia.
Saakashvili admits that after reconsidering the realities, he was going to concentrate on Georgia's modernization.
He is planning to deepen the democracy in the country in order to guarantee the peaceful transfer of power after the expiration of his term in 2013. He is also going to set a date for new local elections, and to offer members of the oppositions seats in the government institutions.
By Philip P. Pan Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, July 24, 2009
TBILISI, Georgia, July 23 -- Breaking with the cautious tone the Obama administration has adopted toward the Kremlin, Vice President Biden told a room of Georgian children Thursday that Russia "used a pretext to invade your country" in the hope of wrecking its economy and persuading its people that "democracy doesn't work."
At the end of a trip aimed at assuring Ukraine and Georgia of continued U.S. support as Washington seeks to "reset" relations with Russia, Biden also warned Georgia's leaders that they had "no military option" for recovering territories lost during last year's war with Russia. And he urged President Mikheil Saakashvili to deepen democratic reforms.
The message of what one senior U.S. official called "tough love" reflected the balance the Obama administration has tried to strike as it seeks to build a new partnership with Moscow while rejecting the Kremlin's claim to "privileged interests" in the former Soviet territories.
Agreeing at the last minute to take questions from the Georgian refugee children, though, Biden appeared to go off script, delivering on national television one of the administration's strongest criticisms of the Russian government to date.
"What we can do is make clear to the world, and to the Russians particularly, that we stand with you, and that if they fail to meet their commitments, that it is a problem for them," Biden said, referring to a cease-fire pact that Georgia says Russia is violating.
"A lot of you think maybe Russia did what they did, and they paid no price," Biden continued. "They paid a pretty big price already diplomatically. The countries that surround Russia, even those that have been very, very loyal to Russia in their freedom, are now saying very harsh things."
"Russia has isolated itself more," he added. "It has not expanded its opportunities."
Moscow maintains that Georgia started the war by attacking a separatist enclave, forcing Russian intervention to prevent a genocide.
By accusing Russia of invading on a "pretext," Biden repeated the position he took when he flew to Georgia during the war as a presidential candidate. But he went further than President Obama did after he met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow this month. Obama endorsed Georgia's territorial integrity but referred only to "disagreements on Georgia's borders."
Biden told the children that he would "tell the rest of the world we should not in any circumstance recognize the independence of South Ossetia or Abkhazia," the two breakaway regions that Russia backed as sovereign states after it won the August war.
"Make Georgia a great success," he said. "When there's freedom and opportunity, then that's the thing that will unite Georgia once again."
In an address to Parliament, Biden called on Russia to honor the cease-fire it signed by withdrawing its forces to their prewar positions "and ultimately out of Georgia."
In a sign that the visit was being scrutinized in Moscow, the Russian government issued a stern warning that it would not allow Georgia to rearm. "We will continue to prevent the rearmament of Saakashvili's regime and will take concrete measures against this," Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told the Itar-Tass news agency.
In an interview Tuesday, Saakashvili said he would urge Biden to speed delivery of antiaircraft and antitank weapons that could deter and slow a Russian attack. He said a U.S. decision not to provide the arms would encourage a Russian invasion.
U.S. and Georgian officials said that the issue was discussed at length during the summit but that Saakashvili did not repeat the request. Biden made no commitment on arms supplies, they said, adding that the Pentagon will continue working to strengthen the Georgian army through training.
Belarus backs Georgia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia
23 July, 2009, 15:35
Belarus has told its citizens they should abide by Georgian laws when visiting Abkhazia or South Ossetia, and the Belarusian Foreign Ministry says visitors should only use entrance points on Georgian territory.
Since the early nineties Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been de facto independent from Georgia after claiming sovereignty, though it was not until last August, after Russia helped repel a Georgian offensive, that Moscow officially recognized their independence.
Belarus did not follow suit, and has recently been involved in a series of trade rows with Russia, which imposed bans on milk and meat.
Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Grigory Karasin, called the recommendations from Belarusian officials addressed to their citizens as “strange”.
“After what we had been told by the Belarusian government earlier, this
Abkhazia accuses Georgia of piracy, appeals to UN, EU.
SUKHUMI, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Abkhazian president appealed to the UN Security Council and the European Union on Tuesday over the seizure by Georgia of a Turkish tanker carrying fuel to the former Georgian republic.
"On August 16, 2009, Georgian patrol officers seized a commercial vessel en route from Turkey to Abkhazia again. This was the third incident of Georgian piracy this year," Sergei Bagapsh said in a statement.
The Turkish Buket vessel was delivering over 3,000 metric tons of gasoline and 775 metric tons of diesel to Abkhazia, when the incident occurred. Tbilisi, which considers Abkhazia to be part of its own territory, seized the shipments as unauthorized and illegal.
Bagpash accused Georgian authorities of destabilizing the situation in the region and "using all mechanisms for putting political and economic pressure to bear on Abkhazia."
The Abkhaz leader requested the UN Security Council, the EU and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make a proper assessment of Georgia's actions and assist in recovering the vessel seized by the Georgian patrol.
Bagapsh also threatened "appropriate measures" to protect commercial cargoes bound for Abkhazia in the future.
He also blamed Tbilisi for "numerous" terror attacks, with the latest one claiming two lives in the Abkhaz resort town of Gagry on August 12. The incident coincided with a visit to Abkhazia by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Next Wednesday, August 26, will mark the first anniversary of Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and another former Georgian republic, South Ossetia, as independent states. So far the only other country to have recognized the two republics is Nicaragua.
Post by TsarSamuil on Aug 23, 2009 13:53:36 GMT -5
S.Ossetia wants to join Russia-Belarus union - leader.
MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) - South Ossetia will seek to join the union being formed by Russia and Belarus, the former Georgian republic's leader said on Friday.
"We will seek this with great pleasure," Eduard Kokoity told reporters, suggesting that Belarus would recognize South Ossetia as an independent state soon.
The only country so far to have followed Russia's example in recognizing South Ossetia and the other self-proclaimed Georgian republic, Abkhazia, is Nicaragua. Belarus has sent mixed signals on whether it will recognize the two regions.
Last month, Belarus's foreign ministry advised Belarusian nationals to abide by Georgian laws when visiting the regions. The comments were welcomed by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and strongly criticized by Moscow.
Moscow recognized South Ossetia last August following a five-day war with Georgia, which attacked the region to regain control of it.
Kokoity unveiled a photo exhibition in Moscow earlier on Friday dedicated to the first anniversary of the republic's recognition by Russia.
He said the exhibit was designed to show that South Ossetia was not only about "war and ruins," but it was a hospitable country, and that it was also a gesture of people's gratitude to Russia.
"I have no doubt that we will realize our potential in the next few years," the leader said.
However, Kokoity voiced concerns over Georgia's ongoing military buildup. "Georgia's military strength is much higher now than before August 2008," he said.
Russia has invested in rebuilding South Ossetia's infrastructure after the war, and pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to support both republics' economies and security. It also deployed more troops there after the conflict.
Joy & tears: Caucasian republics mark independence
RussiaToday.com 26 August, 2009, 18:41
The people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are celebrating one year since Russia recognized their independence from Georgia. Moscow made the move following Tbilisi’s assault on South Ossetia last August.
President Dmitry Medvedev says the decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia is irreversible.
“After Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia, Russia made a painful, yet clear decision, and it was the right one: To protect the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. No other decision could have been made back then,” believes Medvedev.
Recognition neither desired nor required
Moscow said it never planned to recognize these republics’ independence, but was forced to do so in order to protect the two nations from Georgian aggression.
“We have never urged anyone to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
Even Nicaragua’s decision to recognize the two republics, Putin continued, became a surprise for Moscow. Still, the majority of, if not all, South Ossetians say it was still a great victory – one which that nation had been trying to achieve for nearly two decades.
“I don't regret it. It was legitimate under international law. Our decision is irrevocable, and we will act in accordance with it,” President Medvedev stated.
“I went to South Ossetia recently and saw that people there are poor. South Ossetia will struggle without our help, and we'll continue to honor our commitments." Big holiday
Ossetians say it’s a big holiday for them.
“Thank God this is happening. To South Ossetia’s independence and our new life” – toasts are pronounced all across this small land.
Despite the fact it’s a celebration, the atmosphere is still subdued. Many memories and emotional wounds are still as fresh as if they happened yesterday, so some toasts of the locals sound tragic:
“It’s difficult to talk without tears. Let’s remember those who gave their lives to protect their motherland, and to our brothers who rescued us from extinction”.
On the second day of last August’s conflict, some districts in Tskhinval – the capital of South Ossetia – were deliberately flooded by Georgian troops. Basements were the only places the people could take shelter in during constant bombing, so they had to run from one to another as bullets flew over their heads, trying to find dry shelter.
The Georgian attacks only stopped after Russian forces pushed them out, fulfilling its peacekeeping obligations.
“The Georgians named their plan ‘empty field’, and I really thought it had been made reality,” said local resident Aleksandr Khabalov.
“As we were taking cover in that basement I was sure nearly half of the city was dead.”
The conflict was officially over on August 16, with the signing of the Medvedev-Sarkozy six point peace plan, mediated by the European Union.
During the eight days of fighting, nearly 80 per cent of the South Ossetian capital’s buildings were either destroyed or damaged. Many people were still in shock, fearing Georgia would launch another attack. There had been several since the collapse of the Soviet Union
That’s why the news that Russia was recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as offering protection, caused unprecedented celebration in both republics. Thousands took to the streets to celebrate.
“I remember everybody kept asking each other if it was really true,” said Izolda Gagloyeva from the South Ossetian ministry for press and mass communications. “We’d been waiting for so long it was hard to believe it finally happened.” Gas valve open
After his Wednesday meeting with South Ossetian President, Eduard Kokoity, Vladimir Putin authorized the launch of the first pipeline to carry Russian natural gas directly to the republic, bypassing Georgian territory.
Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller called his deputy in South Ossetia's capital, Tskhinval, and instructed him to open the valve.
The Russian prime minister also explained that the 169-kilometer-long pipeline is capable of delivering 250 million cubic meters of natural gas every year, which will be more than enough to satisfy South Ossetia’s needs.
Miller, in his turn, clarified that the agreement with the republic’s authorities is valid for 20 years.
Post by TsarSamuil on Sept 10, 2009 9:04:59 GMT -5
Chavez: we recognize S. Ossetia and Abkhazia as nations.
RussiaToday.com 10 September, 2009, 15:34
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced that the country now recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations.
“Venezuela joins the recognition of independence of the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the South American leader said during his visit to Russia.
He added that Caracas will soon take action to establish official diplomatic links with both countries.
Commenting on the news, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said: “We always said it was the sovereign right of every nation to either recognize them or not to, so this is a big commitment.”
He thanked Chavez for supporting Russia in taking heart in the fate of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Commenting on the news, South Ossetian ambassador to Moscow, Dmitry Medoev, said that he hoped other countries would now follow the lead. The diplomat thanked Hugo Chavez and the people of Venezuela for supporting Ossetians.
Meanwhile, Georgia has taken an opposite view on the prospects of further recognition of independence of its former territories. Temur Yakobashvili, Georgian Minister for Reintegration, whose main task is to put South Ossetia and Abkhazia back under Tbilisi’s authority, called Chavez’s move “an anomaly”, and the Latin American leader himself “a marginal”.
“Such statements of recognition are a process of crystallization and put apart normal states and rogue states,” the official said.
He claimed the move was a result of “Russia’s putting pressure on its partners.”
Venezuela became the third member of the United Nations after Russia and Nicaragua to support the independence of the former Georgian republics.
Russia recognized them shortly after defending South Ossetia from an attack by Georgian forces in 2008.
The majority of other nations, including four other members of the UN Security Council opposed the move, saying that the principle of territorial integrity was more important in this case than the right of nations to self-determination.
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