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U.S. has no intention to punish Russia for August crisis in Caucasus -ambassador2008-10-22 08:30
Washington is not going to 'punish' Russia for the August crisis in the Caucasus but would like to send a message to Moscow that the U.S. side is seriously concerned about its actions there, reports Interfax.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"I am not sure the U.S. is in a position to punish a country like Russia," U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle told Interfax in an interview.
"I think when we look at what happened in the Caucasus in August and the events that led up to it we certainly see that there were miscalculations and mistakes on both sides," the ambassador said.
"We have said very clearly that we tried until the very last moment to convince President Saakashvili not to give in to provocations, and there were provocations, but not to take the step of trying to solve the question of South Ossetia by force. And obviously we spoke up very clearly in seeing that the Russian forces went too far in their response, in moving into Georgia the way that they did," the high-ranking U.S. diplomat said.
Beyrle thinks that it is important "to look to the future, to look to the process that is underway now," he said.
"There was a very important meeting in Geneva on the issue of longer-term security and stability in the region involving the EU, the U.S., Georgia, Russia, and others. This process needs to move forward," the ambassador said.
"We have made very clear at the same time that it has been difficult to conduct business as usual with Russia during this time of high emotions, in which we wanted not to punish Russia, but to send a message to the Russian leadership that we have very grave concerns about some of the decisions they have taken and that we wanted to try to influence their decision-making not to stray far from the course," Beyrle said.