of the interview of the Deputy Prime Minister
For everyone in the United States who was here and for everyone in the United States who has been watching this story and has watched the developments since Friday, can you tell me why Russian tanks, troops, warplanes are in, have been in Georgia?
That is a very easy question.
First of all, good afternoon and thanks for the opportunity to be with you. I
have an impression that the American public thinks or intends to think that
what we have heard from the President of
Yes, exactly. Thanks for prompting me on that.
A big Russian bear attacked a
Deputy Prime Minister, I understand, Georgia’s President, as you know, says he
was responding to the separatists in that region of South Ossetia who were
causing the damage. It was an attempt to restore order to
Well, as far as I remember from our recent history, President Miloshevich also used the same pretext in restoring law and order in Kosovo. And genocide carried out by Georgians of South Ossetian territory…
Of ethnic cleansing,
Yes. I accuse the Georgian
leaders of ethnic cleansing because their political goal was to eliminate the
population, a tiny population, of South Ossetia because without that it is
impossible to integrate South Ossetia back into
But as a result of what
happened now, I am totally sure that the political settlement, I mean, between
me ask the follow-up then. So the charge now from you is that
Yes. Let me explain it. Maybe
many Americans do not know the fact that Russian troops have been stationed in
As peacekeepers starting from
1992 and they kept peace for 18 long years. After the attack, of course, and
our peacekeepers were in small numbers and armed only with light weapons, after
being attacked with tanks, missiles, planes, together will local civilians we did
not have any other option but send our reinforcements, Russian reinforcements,
have to ask you. Was there another way to do this? Was there a diplomatic
solution to this other than sending your forces into sovereign
The answer is very simple. Do you think that after more than 2000 of your nationals being killed and massacred you would appeal to the United Nations which we accidentally did and the United Nations and the Security Council did not take any decision on the situation, we had to urgently defend the people who are still alive. That was the option. That was the choice and we did not have any alternative.
you believe that the
In my private view, I do not
believe that the
is a cease-fire agreement signed by Saakashvili. The President of
It is not a cease-fire
agreement. A cease-fire agreement is signed by two sides when they meet. The
Russian President has already said that first of all we need a written
agreement between Georgia on one side and
I am just curious why do not you or why does the President, why does the Prime Minister of Russia just call for the people of South Ossetia who feel more Russian than Georgian to come home?
All the people of South
Ossetia, they are Russian citizens and
Of course, they are refugees
now but I am sure later most of them will get back because, in fact, in recent
history or last century history ethnic cleansing and genocide was carried out
by Georgians twice only in the twenties last century and the nineties last
century. This war is a third attempt to totally extricate, eliminate,
We have been speaking with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov and it was good to talk to you. Thank you for your time.
Thank you. Take care, bye.