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Rice criticizes Georgian authorities2008-12-25 15:03
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made a curious statement: the actions of Georgian authorities on the days prior to the August events cannot be called "responsible".
In her interview with France Press she also acknowledged that the military operation undertaken by Mikheil Saakashvili had not come as a surprise to the Bush Administration.
"I don't mean the exact time and the way it was happening, - she emphasized. - The fact is that the situation in this region had been quite unstable for a certain period of time. And my visit to Georgia a month before the events pursued the objective to obtain Georgia's warranties that it would not use force".
According to Rice the problem is that all the parties to the conflict were not wise enough on the days that led to the August war.
"We made it quite clear to Georgia's government that it must not undertake any military action as it would only trigger a response, - the Secretary of State said. - But Russians did much more than anyone would have in order to protect its peacekeepers".
She did not specify another way to protect them in that situation. Meanwhile Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed a reserved satisfaction with the confession.
"It's good that the USA admit they were aware of Tbilisi's preparing for aggression against South Ossetia, - he said at the joint press conference with the Head of the Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia Sergey Shamba in Moscow. The latter added that according to him everybody knew about the coming war.
"Georgia was showing off its armed forces saying that its main aim was to restore the country's integrity, - Regnum quotes. - It also said that 1 bn dollars had been invested in the army. All these statements proved that the action would unfold in Abkhazia or South Ossetia".
Lavrov recollected a forgotten promise the Americans had given:
"When we repeatedly attracted the USA's attention to the situation to which Saakashvili's regime would lead, we got the following reply from Washington: "Do not worry, if he uses force, he may forget about NATO membership". However, as the minister pointed out "the NATO topic is seen from a completely different angle now" mentioning that after the August events the USA supported the idea of Georgia's accession into NATO in every possible way.
Though it is not for the first time that Russia's Foreign Minister sees the American politicians' delinquency on some of their promises. It is enough to recall their assertions that there will be no expansion of the alliance to the east...