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USA must choose between its virtual project of Georgia and real partnership with Russia2008-08-14 16:23
The USA must choose between the real partnership with Russia and "the virtual project of Georgia," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Wednesday."We realize and everyone writes about it that Georgia today is a special project of the USA. We understand that the USA worries about the fate of this project," the minister added.
"But here we have either the notion of prestige about the virtual project or partnership, which requires collective actions to be taken," the minister said.
Lavrov said that he was on the phone with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday.
"The US administration claims that illegal armed groups pillage the people on the outskirts of Gori [a town in Georgia] and that the Russian military do not take any measures. If something like that is confirmed - on the outskirts of Gori, Tskhinvali or anywhere else - we will react in the most serious way," the minister said.
"The Russian Armed Forces and the Russian peacemakers have the order from the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, i.e. the president of Russia, to observe all martial laws. Civilians must be protected against infringements of human life and dignity. We will look into every message saying that it is taking place and we will not let this happen," Lavrov said.
As for the USA's approach to the situation in the conflict zone, the Russian minister commented George W. Bush's statement about South Ossetia:
"The qualification of the speechwriters, who prepared the statement, surprised me again," Lavrov stated.
Russia instituted criminal proceedings upon the murder of citizens of South Ossetia in accordance with Article 357 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation - genocide, Interfax reports.
About 100 Russian investigators continue to work in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, which was virtually leveled as a result of the Georgian aggression. The officers investigate the murder of Russian citizens and Russian peacemakers.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered to collect the evidence to prove that the Georgian authorities had committed actions of genocide against the citizens of South Ossetia.
In the meantime, Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, stated that it was Georgia that triggered the armed conflict in South Ossetia. The official urged everyone not to perceive the situation in black and white colors.